Holocaust Memorial Day

Every year in January, the world marks Holocaust Memorial Day which has taken place in the UK since 2001.

On this day we share the memory of the millions who have been murdered in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur in order to challenge hatred and persecution in the world today.

To commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day we will hold an online vigil on Thursday 27 January 2022, from 5:45pm to 7pm via Zoom. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have had to move away from the usual public gathering in the Winter Garden. We will have live British Sign Language Interpreters at this online event.

2022 Theme: One Day

This year's theme is One Day. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust wants us to put aside one day to come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be One Day in the future with no genocide. 

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust have said that there are multiple ways to interpret the theme, some of which are detailed below. 

One Day in history

To mark HMD, you could pick One Day in history and learn about that day. 

One Day when life changed

Survivors of the Holocaust and of genocide often talk about the One Day when everything changed, sometimes for the worse and sometimes for better.

One Day at a time

It may be hard to pick out just One Day, as for many, to keep going through each and every day was a huge struggle, with no end in sight and no glimmer of hope that the next day would be any better.

One Day in the future

On Holocaust Memorial Day we learn from genocide for a purpose – to build a better future. When we look ahead to ‘one day with no genocide’, what do we need to do today to achieve this? We can use this theme to motivate us to speak out when we see injustices, prejudices and identity-based violence.

One Day is a snapshot

One Day is just a snapshot in time and therefore cannot give the full picture, the context, the background that is needed, but it can help bring a piece of the full picture to life. The age or gender of the victim, or their geographical location ensured that no One Day during the genocide was typical.

Tribute to Sue Pearson MBE

We would like to pay tribute to Sue Pearson who sadly passed away in December 2020 at the age of 92, and was a long-time supporter and contributor to our Holocaust Memorial Day Vigil activities. Sue came to Sheffield from Prague on the Kindertransport in 1939 at the age of 11. Her childhood experiences instilled a lifelong commitment to improving the lives of all children.

In March 1939, Hitler occupied the remainder of what was then Czechoslovakia, and Jews in Prague were aware of the danger they were in. Sue’s Jewish parents took the brave decision to send her on a Kindertransport in June 1939, believing it would be a temporary measure, but, like most children who made the journey, she never saw them again.

When Sue arrived in Sheffield she was fostered by a family and attended Woodseats school, leaving at 14 to work in a drawing office. She dedicated her life to education and was appointed MBE for services to education in 1985 and awarded an honorary doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University in 2000.

Through her work and dedication to raising awareness of the holocaust, Sue made a huge impact and touched the hearts of those who came into contact with her. She will be sadly missed, but her legacy will live on. Please see Sue’s short film, ‘My Escape from the Holocaust’, which was filmed for the 2018 Holocaust Memorial Day Vigil, The Power of Words.

Further information

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website has a range of resources, information and advice you need to participate in Holocaust Memorial Day. They also offer a selection of educational resources.

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