Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) on 27 January is the internationally designated day to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi Persecution and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. HMD encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide.
This year, HMD marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp and the 26th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia.
The Holocaust threatened the fabric of civilisation, and genocide must still be resisted every day. Our world often feels fragile and vulnerable and we cannot be complacent. Even in the UK, prejudice and the language of hatred must be challenged by us all.
HMD is for everyone. Each year across the UK, thousands of people come together to learn more about the past and take action to create a safer future. We know they learn more, empathise more and do more.
Together we bear witness for those who endured genocide and honour the survivors and all those whose lives were changed beyond recognition.
The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2021 is Be the light in the darkness. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.
For more information and resources, please visit the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website.
Tuesday 26 January
On Tuesday 26 January at 10am the Holocaust Educational Trust are hosting their annual webcast. This is an opportunity for students across the UK to come together to listen to a survivor sharing their testimony. Students will be able to ask the survivor questions about their experiences during the Holocaust as part of the live event. To join them for their webcast, register here.
Wednesday 27 January
Due to the government guidelines our usual annual ceremony at Valentines Park cannot take place. Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure and Redbridge Council are making plans to prepare a special virtual Holocaust Memorial Day service, for more information see our event listing for more details.
The UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) will be streamed live for the first time at 7pm on 27 January.
After the ceremony, get ready to Light the Darkness. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust are inviting households across the UK to light a candle and put it in their window to:
- remember those who were murdered for who they were
- stand against prejudice and hatred today
So, light a candle and put it in your window at 8pm on 27 January (if you can do so safely).
Find more information including how to register for the online ceremony here.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has more ideas for activities to mark HMD Together, from home visit the HMD website for more information.
You can read more the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur from our curated collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks on Libby.
Selected documentaries from Kanopy
The Nazi regime embarks on the extermination of Jews, Slavs, homosexuals and other “undesirables” in Europe. Concludes with a meditation on the meaning of this crime and its implications for the concept of Western civilisation.
In this film, the men and women who perpetuated the massacres – from the foot soldiers who slit throats to the party’s ideological leader, Nuon Chea aka Brother Number Two – break their silence to give testimony never before heard or seen. This is the result of a decade of work by Thet Sambath, investigative journalist. Sambath is on a personal journey as he lost his family in the Killing Fields and hopes to discover not how but why they died. In making the film, he hears and understands for the first time the real story behind his country’s tragedy.
An inter-ethnic genocide erupted in Rwanda in 1994 on an industrial scale. But what happened was not simply spontaneous – it was a planned genocide. Lists were made. Weapons were collected. The local radio station, RTLM, spent months conditioning their audiences to believe that one sector of the population – the Tutsi – represented a threat. This intricate film follows several characters from different parts of the city through that first crucial week when the devastating massacre could have been averted.
In this documentary, Canadian student Jonathan Pedneault and filmmaker Alexandre Trudeau travel to Darfur to try to make sense of reports of genocide in the region. Making their way clandestinely into the heart of the Sudanese war zone, they chronicle stories of unfathomable human despair and courage.
An interview with Holocaust survivor Susan Pollack MBE
Last year, we spoke to Holocaust survivor Susan Pollack about her experiences during the Holocaust.
This film was recorded in January 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions.