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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Report all hate crimes, urges Mayor of London ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day

The Mayor of London has urged a zero tolerance attitude to hate crimes in the capital as he met Holocaust survivors.

Sadiq Khan said the city remained inclusive and global in the wake of four anti-Semitic attacks over the weekend.

He made the remarks as he met genocide survivors at City Hall at the first in a series of events in the lead-up to Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January.

Scotland Yard said on Sunday that officers were investigating four hate crime allegations aimed towards north London’s Jewish community, including one where a brick covered in anti-Semitic comments was thrown at a house.

Speaking after Monday’s event, Mr Khan said: “I ask all Londoners to report any form of hate crime, no matter how trivial.

“A brick with a swastika on it thrown through a window of a Jewish home is not a trivial matter and needs to be addressed.”

The other incidents being probed by police include a woman having eggs thrown at her by the occupants of a passing car and offensive graffiti, including a swastika.

The mayor met several people who survived periods of mass murder, including Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich and Sokpal Din, who lived through the Cambodian Genocide.

This year’s theme for the memorial is ‘How can life go on?’ to highlight the difficulties faced by survivors in the aftermath of their experience.

Ms Tribich, who was 12 when the Germans invaded her Polish home town, described how she lost most of her family and suffered a terrible illness in the concentration camps.

She told the audience: “Living a normal life is the biggest challenge for holocaust survivors, because the darkness and pain penetrate so deeply.”

Mr Din gave a message of hope, saying: “The only thing we had was hope, and that was something I never gave up on.”

Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, a descendent of holocaust survivors, described how after the war, the world said “never again” but this promise has been broken repeatedly.

Picture: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (second right) and Holocaust survivors (left to right) Ben Helfgott, Sokphal Din and Mala Tribich, sign a book of remembrance after a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at City Hall, London. (John Stillwell/PA).