Candles lit for Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day 2023: Activities and events in north east London

Holocaust Memorial Day is marked each year on 27 January, the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

In the words of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Holocaust Memorial Day encourages remembrance in a world scarred by genocide.

27 January is marked as an international day of remembrance for the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Here are some of the activities taking place this week for Holocaust Memorial Day in North East London.

Tuesday 24 January

Jewish Museum London: Ordinary People (18:00 – 19:30, Jewish Museum London)

This event will reflect on this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme ‘Ordinary People’. Testimonies will be given by Kindertransport refugee Ruth Barnett and artist, human rights activist and member of the Uyghur community Rahima Mahmut.

This event will be BSL interpreted and will conclude with a candle lighting led by the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Nasim Ali OBE.

Wednesday 25 January

Pen to Print: Holocaust Memorial Day with Susie Barnett BEM (14:00 – 16:00, Barking Library, Barking)

In collaboration with the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), Holocaust survivor, Susie Barnett BEM will give a testimony at the Barking Learning Centre. The testimony will be followed by a Q&A to give a better understanding of the Holocaust. The session will also involve poetry or prose writing in response to the testimony in the final 30 minutes of the session.

Susie was born in Hamburg, Germany and was the youngest of four children. Her father was imprisoned in a concentration camp and her three siblings (one brother and two sisters) were taken separately to England on Kindertransport. Susie stayed with her mother in Nazi Germany until they managed to travel to London and seek refuge.

Booking is essential via Eventbrite.

Thursday 26 January

In remembrance of a ‘hidden’ family: A talk for Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 (18:30 – 20:00, Idea Store Canary Wharf)

Clare Smith grew up knowing that her Jewish family originally came from Holland and that, at one time, elderly relations lived in Tower Hamlets: but that was the extent of her knowledge of her family story.

As far as she was aware, her family had no direct connection to the traumas of the Holocaust, but this changed when she uncovered a previously unknown, ‘hidden’, family story whilst researching her family tree. Themes of identity, belonging, the holocaust, war, separation, loss, and memory will be explored in this talk and presentation.

The event will also be livestreamed on Zoom.

Friday 27 January

Islington Council Holocaust Memorial Day (10:00 – 12:15, Islington Assembly Hall)

The theme for this year is ‘Ordinary People’, highlighting both the ordinary people who were persecuted in the Holocaust, and who facilitated and perpetrated it. As well as addresses from MPs and local councillors, the event will include a presentation from Ros Gelbart about her father David Herman’s story of surviving several Nazi labour camps.

There will also be music from the World Harmony Orchestra, whose musicians include refugees from around the world.

Doors open at 9.30am for attendees to arrive and sign in. The World Harmony Orchestra will perform at 10am.

Hackney Council Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony 2023 (Hackney Town Hall)

Hackney Council’s annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony will this year take place in person in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall. It will include music, readings and both historic and current accounts of victims of war and genocide.

Revive FM live radio podcast : Ordinary People 2023 (17:00 – 19:00, 94.0 Revive FM London)

This two-hour live podcast will explore the theme of ordinary people and the Holocaust. Guests will join in the discussion, and the message of hope and humanity as well as lessons from history will be explored. Host Ali Fateh will also discuss the importance of worldwide activities highlighting Holocaust Memorial Day, as well as the need to make the world more mindful of how to address growing injustices in society.

National Holocaust Centre & Museum and Camden Council HMD Commemoration (18:00 – 19:30, Camden Town Hall)

The National Holocaust Centre & Museum is partnering with Camden Council to host an evening of Holocaust commemoration and remembrance with survivor Dr Agnes Kaposi.

Featured image credit: Ted Eytan via Flickr under CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

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