Torn from home: Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January

Torn from home is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2019.

Kindertransport girls passing through customs

There are activities across the capital to mark this important day. Some of the borough events are listed below. Find an activity near you on the HMD site.

Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone 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.

Torn from home encourages us to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide. ‘Home’ usually means a place of safety, comfort and security. On HMD 2019 people across the UK will reflect on what happens when individuals, families and communities are driven out of, or wrenched from their homes, because of persecution or the threat of genocide, alongside the continuing difficulties survivors face as they try to find and build new homes when the genocide is over.

HMD 2019 will include marking the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda, which began in April 1994 and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Genocide in Cambodia, which ended in 1979. HMD activity organisers may particularly want to acknowledge this milestone anniversary, and reflect on how this theme impacts on members of the Rwandan and Cambodian communities.

Safet is a survivor of the Bosnian War. This photograph is taken in his living room.

Safet was 16 when Muslim men and boys began being taken away to concentration camps. He remembers his father and brother being ordered out of the house, and his mother stopped him from going with them. He came to England with his mother, and later his father and brother joined them.

Safet is holding a school photograph, taken in 1982 when he was six years old, before the war started.

‘It was a really mixed group in terms of religion. We were kids and we didn’t think of religion at all. I have chosen this [photograph] because it shows how things were before, and it just reminds me. It would be nice to be able to go back to how it used to be. It can be done, I’m 100% certain. We have no problems between ourselves, it’s the politicians making these problems, and that’s the most frustrating thing.

‘It’s important to keep the memory alive, because some people are just not aware of what was happening in Bosnia, it’s a surprise to me. People were dying in concentration camps, torture took place, in Europe, in the 90s. Everyone thought that once World War II was over that wouldn’t happen again, but it did.

Click on the dates for borough HMD 2019 events. If you know of others, please add a comment to this post with details. A map of activities is on the HMD site.

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Holocaust Memorial Day this year asks the question “How can life go on?
Boroughs across the capital are marking the day. Check the details here:

Hammersmith & Fulham

Merton

Brent

Barnet

Southwark

Tower Hamlets

Enfield

Camden

Wandsworth

Harrow

Newham

Hackney

Ealing

Greenwich

Haringey

Hounslow

Find more events on the HMD website.
Denial, a film about the legal case surrounding Holocaust denier David Irving, opens in London next week.

Keeping the memory alive: Holocaust Memorial Day

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An important date which brings us all together each year is Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January.  Boroughs across London are planning events.

“HMD is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.”

This year is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau WWII death camp and also the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia.

There are plenty of imaginative resources to mark the theme for 2015 “Keep the memory alive” on the HMD website.

The HMD team is always very helpful to anyone planning a local event.  Get in touch with them for advice and visit their activity page here.