b'WESTERN MARBLE ARCH SYNAGOGUEYOM HASHOAH ALEX BRUMMERR emembrance of the Shoah has never felt more important to me than in the last year. Witnesses oftheterribleeventsoftheHolocaustare becomingfewer.Inmyownfamilyremarkablymy fathers two sisters Sussie and Rosie and my first cousin Shindy,survivorsofAuschwitz,remainalive.Their enduring bravery and indomitable spirit is striking. Just before Covid-19 shut the nation down, an old friend Sam Freiman and devoted member of Richmond synagogue died. He was the survivor of six slave and concentration camps who went on to fight for the IDF in 1948. He like many survivors picked up the pieces of his life in Britain, buried bitterness and had a wonderful smile which betrayed none of the scarring.As the senior Cohen in our community one never felt more blessed when during the Yamim Noraim Sam would ascend to the Aron Kodesh and in his sweet, melodious, voice lead the priestly blessing. You could hear the cadences of the Yiddish songster who as a teenager would comfort his fellow inmates in the camps.In 2020 and the year 5780 (which we are just leaving behind) commemoration of the Shoah felt particularly poignant. It marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Russian forces. There was at the time some comment in the Jewish media about Holocaust commemoration being overdonesomehow caught up in an exercise of global one-upmanship. There also has been the suggestion that January 27 (the secular Holocaust Memorial Day) takes away from Yom HaShoah, the day of Israeli remembrance, which this year takes place on Iyar 27 (this year April 21). Yom HaShoah was inaugurated by the Knesset in 1951 when the horror of the death camps was still fresh. The solemnity of the day is marked by the sound of sirens and two minute silence during which the countrys vibrant life is stilled.TheShoah wassuchadefining,terribleeventin20thCentury history that we regard every commemoration as precious in its own right. The stars of the show at such moments are still the survivors and refugees, many as spritely and mentally alert as ever, with the 46'