Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

'Don't stand by' is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year.  27 January is the day chosen for this annual commemoration because it is the anniversay of the day that the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau were liberated by the Soviet army in 1945. The purpose of the day is not only to remember the Holocaust and the Nazi persecution of Jews, but also subsequent genocides and to learn the lessons of history.

No genocide takes place in isolation. Behind every genocide is a process that create the conditions in which mass murder of particular peoples becomes possible. It starts with things like lack of respect for others, prejudice, stereotyping of groups of people, seeing those who are different as inferior or to be feared or blamed. This can progress to hate crimes - things that happen now and every single day in the UK and around the world. 

This year's HMD theme is intended to encourage us not to simply stand by and ignore what we see to be happening.

You can read more about the 'Don't Stand By' theme vision here.

Susan Pollack is a survivor of the Holocaust. Here she is telling her story for the first time:

Here's a prayer for this day that I posted last year:


God who knows us,
who never forgets us,
we thank you that,
when you 'remember' us,
you gaze on us in a way
that makes new worlds possible.
Help us to remember the horrors
others faced and face.
Help us to remember the people
we'd rather forget.
Help us to remember
the dark corners of our own lives,
for you transfigure everything,
bringing light and life.

Image Credit: 'Don't Stand By' logo: Holocaust Memorial Day Trust


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