Each year on 27 January the world marks Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). HMD has been held in the UK since 2001 and the United Nations declared this an International event in November 2005. 27 January was chosen as the date for HMD because it was on this date in 1945 that the largest Nazi killing camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated.
HMD is about remembering the victims and those whose lives have been changed beyond recognition of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and the ongoing atrocities today in Darfur. HMD provides us with an opportunity to honour the survivors but it’s also a chance to look to our own lives and communities today. Genocide doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a gradual process which begins when the differences between us are not celebrated but used as a reason to exclude or marginalise. By learning from the lessons of the past, we can create a safer, better future.
HMD is a day for everyone. It’s an opportunity for all the diverse strands of our communities to come together. It’s also an opportunity for groups or organisations to remember the past and commit to creating a better future. HMD can be commemorated individually or collectively.
Each year, we announce a theme for HMD which provides a focal point and a shared message for the hundreds of events which take place around the UK. The theme for HMD 2011 is Untold Stories
For events in Northern Ireland click here