Remembering Srebrenica’s Board in Wales, together with Dar Ul-Isra Mosque in Cardiff, organised an interfaith event to bring the stories of the Holocaust and the Srebrenica genocide to over 150 people in Cardiff this month.
Communities from all different faiths and backgrounds came together at the Cardiff Mosque to hear from survivors of the genocide, to learn from the past and hear powerful stories of survival and loss at the multi-faith gathering.
The audience heard from Ruth Barnett, a Holocaust survivor, who shared her experience of being a kinder-transport child. She spoke of how her Jewish father escaped to Shanghai whilst her German mother went into hiding to avoid prosecution from the Nazis. When she eventually did travel back to Germany she did so as a ‘person of no nationality’ after the Nazis took away the citizenship of all Jews and Gypsies. After decades of silence, Ruth came to understand the importance of sharing her story in the hopes of other’s learning from it. She actively fights for all Holocaust narratives to be talked about and has written several books on the subject along with her own story.
Remembering Srebrenica’s Partnerships Officer, Amra Mujkanović, spoke about her and her family’s own personal experience of survival. Her great-grandfather was a survivor of Auschwitz and her grandparents, parents and other family members survived Omarska, Trnopolje, Manjača and Keraterm concentration camps in Bosnia. With three generations before her that survived concentration camps, she spoke of the importance of tackling hatred and intolerance and the importance of sharing stories in order to learn from the past.
Following the talks, a question and answer session was chaired by Howard Tucker, Remembering Srebrenica Wales Board Member and former War Crimes Investigator in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The event ended with dinner provided by the mosque to allow those of different faiths and no faith to meet, network and learn about each other’s religions and beliefs. The event brought together a mixture of people within the community, teaching them about the impacts of genocide and the lessons that can be learnt from the Holocaust and Srebrenica. They pledged to go back and take action within their own lives and communities to build cohesion and make sure that those who seek to use hatred to cause division do not succeed.