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Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

Posted on : 27 Jan 2023

Holocaust Memorial Day 2023
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2023 takes place on the 27th of January and the theme for this year is, ‘Ordinary People’.

Ordinary people were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution of other groups, and in the genocides that took place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Ordinary people were perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses - and ordinary people were victims.

The theme this year, highlights the ordinary people who let genocide happen, the ordinary people who actively perpetrated genocide, and the ordinary people who were persecuted.

Here are a few comments from the ordinary people who experienced the Holocaust and genocides first hand:

Kemal Pervanić, survivor, Bosnia
“People may think that they have nothing to do with my story. But what happened to me, could happen to them – to people like yourself. It may sound too hard to believe but this doesn’t happen to strangers who live far away. I’m just an ordinary person. These terrible things can happen to people like us.”

Read Kemal Pervanić’s life story here:

Sir Nicholas Winton, a young stockbroker, rescued 669 children from Czechoslovakia, bringing them to the UK thereby sparing them from the horrors of the Holocaust.
He said, “Why are you making such a big deal out of it? I just helped a little; I was in the right place at the right time.”
Read Sir Nicholas Winston’s life story here:

To show the council’s commitment to commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day, Blackwood Miners’ Institute and Penallta House will be lit up to show an act of solidarity.

Cllr Philippa Leonard, Caerphilly Council’s Equalities Champion commented, “It is important that we continue to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, as the atrocities of the Holocaust and other genocides throughout the world must never be forgotten.
“This year’s theme, ‘Ordinary People’ prompts us to consider how ordinary people, such as ourselves, can perhaps play a bigger part than we might imagine in challenging prejudice today.
“We are encouraging children and family members to take part in a practical and engaging activities that raises awareness about the Holocaust and genocide and the people and countries that have suffered.”
The HMDT website is a great resource for teachers and parents who want educate their pupils/children to learn lessons from the past in creative, reflective and inspiring ways.

To get involved, visit the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s website: 
There are also hundreds of films, podcasts and documentaries which not only focus on the atrocities committed during World War II but also the following decades which shows the after effects of the crimes. Some notable movies/documentaries which have won multiple awards would include:
Schindler’s List (1993)
One of the greatest Holocaust films of all time and recipient of seven Academy Awards, Steven Spielberg’s sweeping epic Schindler’s List follows the real-life story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saved the lives of more than 1,000 mostly Polish Jews by employing them in his factories during the Second World War. The stellar cast includes Ralph Fiennes as sadistic SS officer Amon Goeth and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern. 
The Pianist (2002)
This powerful biographical drama directed by Roman Polanski is based on the Holocaust memoir of Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman (played by Adrien Brody). Nominated for seven Oscars, The Pianist picked up three for best director, best adapted screenplay (Ronald Harwood) and best actor, as well as the Palme d’Or at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. 
Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution (2005)
Powerful six-part documentary series from the BBC, which presents an in-depth look at the story of Auschwitz and features interviews with former inmates, guards and re-enactments of historic events. From conception to reality, mass murder, experimentation and ultimately liberation and revenge, the series covers all aspects of this notorious Nazi camp, where more than one million Jews were sent to their deaths.

Holocaust Memorial Day enables us to remember – for a purpose. It gives us a responsibility to work for a safer, better, future for everyone. Everyone can step up and use their talents to tackle prejudice, discrimination and intolerance wherever we encounter them.

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