This week I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day and remembering those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people.
Friday 27th January will mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.
I have visited Auschwitz-Birkenau back in 1988 under Communist Poland and again with the HET back in 2013 with local children in Further Education.
In the lead up to and on 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. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘How can life go on?’
Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for such an important day.
Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:
Our mission is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. We are very grateful to [MP Name] for signing the Book of Commitment, signalling a continued commitment to remembering the victims of the Holocaust as well as challenging antisemitism, prejudice and bigotry in all its forms.
The trust can be contacted at
Samantha Abrahams, the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Head of Public Affairs via Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7222 6822 or Public Affairs Officer Jack Mason via Jack.email@example.com
About 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 30 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 2017 is ‘How can life go on?’
About the Holocaust Educational Trust
The Holocaust Educational Trust was established in 1988. Our aim is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today. The Trust works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an outreach programme for schools, teaching aids and resource material. One of our earliest achievements was ensuring that the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for History. We continue to play a leading role in training teachers on how best to teach the Holocaust.
Our activities include:
The Outreach Programme: A central part of our work, the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Outreach Programme allows students and teachers the opportunity to hear survivor testimony firsthand and take part in focused workshops designed and delivered by our trained educators. The Programme is free of charge, and over 100,000 students a year take part.
Lessons from Auschwitz Project: The Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project for post-16 students and teachers is now in its seventeenth year and has taken over 30,000 students and teachers from across the UK to the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, as part of a four-part course.
Ambassador Programme: Following on from their involvement in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project, participants become Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassadors – people who are committed to educating others about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. Ambassadors can apply to become Regional Ambassadors, individuals who have all shown outstanding commitment to ensuring that the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten and to galvanising local communities.
Resource Development: The Holocaust Educational Trust develops engaging and interactive classroom resources, all of which are available free of charge through a dedicated section of our website. Our flagship resource, Exploring the Holocaust, is a downloadable cross-curricular teaching pack which provides teachers with all of the materials they need to teach the Holocaust across a range of subjects at Key Stage 3 (or S2 in Scotland). In 2016 we launched a new teaching guide and accompanying classroom resources for primary schools A Guide for Primary School Teachers which is designed to support the growing number of primary schools which wish to explore issues related to the Holocaust with their students. It is the first comprehensive guide of its kind and will be invaluable to teachers looking to address this subject in a sensitive and meaningful way.
Teacher Training: As the UK’s foremost authority in Holocaust education, the Holocaust Educational Trust delivers teacher training to trainee teachers at institutions of higher education and to practising teachers as part of their Continuing Professional Development. Each year the Trust leads several UK-based seminars bringing teachers into contact with leading Holocaust scholars. Additionally, our Teacher Study Visit series gives British teachers the opportunity to learn abroad from international experts and to consider the use of historical sites to enhance students’ understanding of the Holocaust.