Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) (27th January) is a national commemoration day in UK dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in The Holocaust under Nazi Persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration camp in 1945
It is as important in 2018 as in any year to remember the events of the Holocaust on the International Memorial Day, and there are a number of quality LGfL resources available for use in assemblies, Citizenship, Art and History lessons for teachers at Primary and Secondary level.
Each year, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chooses a different theme to enable audiences on Holocaust Memorial Day to learn something new about the past. This year’s theme is ‘The Power of Words’ Words can make a difference – both for good and evil.
Spoken and written words from individuals, corporations, community organisations or the state, can have a huge impact, whether good or bad. This theme explores how language has been used in the past, and how it is used in the present day. HMD activities can focus on the impact that words had in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, through propaganda used to incite, through slogans written in resistance, and through memoirs written to record and respond to what was going on.
HMD offers an Activity Pack for activity organisers to help facilitate activities. It contains a set of posters, an example of our free handout materials, a sample About HMD booklet, information for educators, a set of stickers, a metal HMD badge, guidance for putting on your activity, as well as a guide to the theme for HMD 2018: The power of words.
Scope of the theme:
- The power of words, written during the Holocaust and during the subsequent genocides, by perpetrators, by people who wanted to criticise perpetrator regimes, or stand up against them or by people who wrote to survive, or to record their experiences for the future
- Words written as a response to the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the subsequent genocides
- Words today
- How we respond to words
- The power of definitions
- Free speech and censorship
LGfL offers a range of resources that can support your HMD activities and all have been carefully created with experts to ensure accuracy, appropriateness and sensitivity towards teaching about the Holocaust:
Documenting the Holocaust: A unique resource which gives access to carefully curated artefacts from the the Wiener Library, one of the world’s most extensive archives. The collection of over one million items includes press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony. The videos within the resource offers unique stimulus to be used as valuable as starters, plenaries and main lesson stimuli and support discussion in and out of lesson time.
The Holocaust Explained: Produced originally in partnership with the London Jewish Cultural Centre, but now managed by the Wiener Library, this website features a large range of media resources, historical documents and graphical representations of a wide-range of aspects of the Holocaust; the site has over 500 webpages, 1000 media assets, a glossary of 720 terms and 11 oral testimonies.
Holocaust Education though the Ben Uri Art Collection: A resource designed to support GCSE History and Art and Design research into Holocaust art, the resources help to ‘deconstruct’ art works from the Ben Uri Gallery and the London Jewish Cultural Centre. The expert teacher support is some of the finest available from LGfL.
The M Room: The M Room resource gives unique access to secret World War II listening sites where the British Secret Service bugged high-ranking German Military prisoners to secure key intelligence to help win the war. The resources feature an in interview with one of the original secret listeners and extensive primary-source material form the Ministry of Defence, relatives of those involved, and the National Archives.
The Cold War: The resources span borders, ideologies and even realities; interviewing spies, journalists and dissidents; visiting prisons, concentration camps, and museums; filming underground, above ground and from air; and uncovering documents, images and secrets never before revealed. Although the resource focuses on post second world war tensions between the Superpowers, there are sections that link to the topic and influence of the Holocaust on subsequent post war events.
There are also many other resources that the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust produces that may assist in your planning – They have materials for educators, with resources and an activity planning section
Also Michael Rosen has recorded a series of powerful poems about the experiences of his family in the Holocaust which you can use to inspire your students.
As Teachers, it is vital that we continue to pay our respect to the victims of the Holocaust by continuing to sensitively pass on the memories of the past and we at LGfL hope that our resources will support you with this important endeavour.