‘One Day’ to mark Holocaust

Could 27 January 2022 be the ‘One Day’ that every local authority marks Holocaust Memorial Day?

Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, and the millions of people killed under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 

It is an occasion for communities to come together to learn, remember and reflect. 

Each year across the UK, thousands of people gather to learn more about the past and take action to build stronger communities and create a safer future that is free of genocide and all other forms of identity-based hostility.

Marking Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is now more important than ever, as prejudice and the language of hate are on the rise. In the year ending March 2021, there were 124,091 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales. 

As local authorities, you are doing essential work in responding to threats such as these, and here at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT), we would like to encourage you to use HMD as an opportunity to reflect and inform within your own organisation and communities.

Learning about the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, and the steps that led to them, equips people with the facts they need to resist hatred and prejudice.

Councils are at the very heart of the local community, and in the face of enormous challenges to community cohesion, both locally and nationally, you are already bringing your residents together in innovative and powerful ways. 

In 2021, more than two-thirds of local authorities marked HMD, ranging from virtual ceremonies (Peterborough City Council) to wreath laying (Burnley Borough Council); from lighting up council buildings in purple (Swansea Council) to tailor-made blog posts (North East Lincolnshire Council); and from the lowering of flags (Amber Valley Borough Council) to poetry workshops (Staffordshire County Council). 

The data for 2021 is inspiring, because it shows the enormous contribution you have made to the national picture of HMD – and against the backdrop of the pandemic, there was an increase compared with the previous year. Can we work together to make 2022 even better?

The theme for HMD 2022 is ‘One Day’. 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 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. 

For those who suffered for days, weeks, months, years, focusing on just One Day is a starting point. It is a way for us to learn more about what happened during the Holocaust and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, and help create a better future. 

The HMDT is funded by the UK Government to promote and support HMD, and we are here to help you to mark HMD 2022. Our support for councils includes resources and advice on planning an HMD activity on any (or no) budget. You can download resources and order stickers and booklets for free from our website.  

Please play your part in creating One Day in our communities without hate, prejudice and intolerance. 

Register online to watch the UK Commemorative Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day 2022 online from 7-8pm on 27 January. Toni Griffiths can be contacted on toni.griffiths@hmd.org.uk

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