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Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone in the UK to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

It is commemorated annually on 27 January, which coincides with the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp. 

The 27 January is also International Holocaust Remembrance Day, created by the United Nations (UN) in November 2005 through resolution 60/7. The UN urges every member nation to honour the memory of Holocaust victims and educate people on the Holocaust to help prevent future genocides.

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day, please visit Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

Previous speakers 

TV personality Robert Rinder MBE and Bernie Graham

Rob and Bernie spoke about their families and their involvement in the award-winning documentary series My Family, the Holocaust and Me, which helped British Jewish families trace the stories of their family, to understand their experiences of the Holocaust. We also heard about the UK wide-school project The Holocaust, Their Family, Me and Us, derived from the documentary series. The event provided young people with an opportunity to reflect on the legacies of the Holocaust, through sharing their family history.

Uri Winterstein

Uri told us how, at just 1 month old, he was put in the care of a non-Jewish woman because his parents realised that it would be very difficult to keep a baby quiet if they needed to go into hiding. Uri explained how nine of his wider family were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they were killed. How his father, a member of an underground movement, attempted to halt the deportation of Jews by bribing key SS officers and government officials and how his father, then mother and sister were caught and sent to Terezin. When he was reunited with his family at the end of the war, aged 19 months old, he could not walk or talk. After the war and takeover of Czechoslovakia by the Communists in 1948, his family left the country and ended up in Brazil.

Smajo Beso

Smajo talks about his childhood in pre-war Bosnia and about the modern, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural European country and how it quickly succumbed to hatred and intolerance. 

Bosnia became the scene of the biggest atrocities and the only instance of genocide on European soil since the Holocaust. Smajo's father, along with most of his other male relatives were taken to a concentration camp where they were tortured and endured regular beatings. Smajo reflects on the difficulties of growing up during a war, losing family members, and being shelled and shot at on a daily basis. He also shares his experience of surviving on very little food and water, often going days without anything to eat, and living in ruins and rubble, before fortunately escaping and coming to live in the North East of England.

Tomi Komoly

Hungarian-born Tomi talks about how his family was torn apart when his father was called up to the forced labour unit of the Hungarian Army, his time in a walled ghetto, his escape with his mother in 1944 and liberation by the Soviet army in January 1945.

Eva Clarke

Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke tells her families story. Eva was born in Mauthausen concentration camp in 1945. Fifteen of Eva's family members were killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau, leaving only her and her mother as survivors.

Find out about future events

If you would like to receive information about our future Holocaust Memorial Day events you can join our Holocaust Memorial Day mailing list.

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