Sunday, 26 January 2014

This week I signed the Holocaust Memorial Day Book of Commitment

Marking Holocaust Memorial Day this week I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, honouring those who died during the Holocaust as well as honouring the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people about what they endured.

Monday 27th January will mark the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.


In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau – and is an important opportunity to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to join members of my community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance.

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:
“We are proud that [MP NAME] is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day. It is vitally important that we both continue to remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.”

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For further information, please contact Samantha Abrahams, the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Public Affairs Officer at samantha.abrahams@het.org.uk or 020 7222 6822.

Notes for Editors

About the Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day was established following an MP’s visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the Holocaust Educational Trust. Moved by his visit, Andrew Dismore MP proposed a bill, “to introduce a day to learn and remember the Holocaust” on 30th June 1999.

The Holocaust Educational Trust has been closely involved in the establishment and development of Holocaust Memorial Day since its inception in 2000. Holocaust Memorial Day is now coordinated by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

The theme for the UK Holocaust Memorial Day 2014 is ‘Journeys’, encouraging us to learn how journeys themselves became part of genocide and also about the life stories of journeys that brought survivors to the UK.

About the Holocaust Educational Trust

Founded by Lord Janner of Braunstone and the late Lord Merlyn Rees, the Holocaust Educational Trust was formed in 1988 as a result of renewed interest and need for knowledge about the Holocaust during the passage of the War Crimes Act. Our aim is to raise awareness and understanding in schools and amongst the wider public of the Holocaust and its relevance today. We believe the Holocaust must have a permanent place in our nation’s collective memory.

One of the Trust’s first achievements was to ensure that the Holocaust was included in the National Curriculum for England in 1991 – for Key Stage 3 students (11-14 year olds). We also successfully campaigned to have the assets of Holocaust victims and survivors released and returned to their rightful owners.

Since 1999 the Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project has given thousands of post-16 students and teachers the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of a four-part educational programme. The Project is now in its fifteenth year and has taken more than 22,000 students and teachers from across the UK to Auschwitz-Birkenau, as well as many MPs and other guests.

To mark our 25th year, last year we launched our Ambassador Programme, headed by Lord Browne of Madingley. Our Ambassadors have been invested with the responsibility for delivering a powerful message about what happened during the Holocaust to their peers and wider communities.

We work in schools, colleges and higher education institutions, providing teacher training workshops and lectures, as well as teaching aids and resource materials.