Holocaust Memorial Day: Wednesday 27 January
What is Holocaust Memorial Day?
The university marked Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) on 27 January this year, where we remembered the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust.
Between 1941 and 1945, the Nazis attempted to annihilate all of Europe’s Jews. This systematic and planned attempt to murder European Jewry is known as the Holocaust (The Shoah in Hebrew). From the time they assumed power in 1933, the Nazis used propaganda, persecution, and legislation to deny human and civil rights to Jews. By the end of the Holocaust, six million Jewish men, women and children had perished in ghettos, mass-shootings, in concentration camps and extermination camps. There were an additional five million victims of Nazi mass murders including LGBT people, disabled and mentally ill people, Slavs, Romani people, and people of colour, bringing the death toll to approximately eleven million. On HMD we also remember the victims of subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. On HMD we can honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today. 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
Why is Holocaust Memorial Day important?
HMD is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented. We’re fortunate here in the UK; we are not at risk of genocide. However, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. There is still much to do to create a safer future and HMD is an opportunity to start this process. Find out more on the HMD Trust website: http://hmd.org.uk/.
Swansea University on Holocaust Memorial Day
This year we will be commemorating HMD by pledging to remember the victims of the Holocaust and later genocides. We will be holding an information stall on Wednesday 27th January, 12-2pm, ground floor Fulton House, and would encourage all staff, students and visitors to come and support us. We will also be collecting donations for the Holocaust Memorial Day trust.