Monday, 13 April, 2015

We’re excited to reveal the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 – Don’t stand by.

The Holocaust and subsequent genocides took place because the local populations allowed insidious persecution to take root. Whilst some actively supported or facilitated state policies of persecution, the vast majority stood by silently – at best, afraid to speak out; at worst, indifferent. Bystanders enabled the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides.

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has written powerfully about the impact of bystanders:

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

You can find out more about 2016’s theme in our theme vision.

We have launched the first life stories which will accompany and illustrate the 2016 theme:

Sydney and Golda Bourne           

Susanne Kenton

Zahava Kohn

Raphael Lemkin

Ivor Perl

Carl and Teresa Wilkins

More life stories will be launched over the coming months. The resources for HMD 2016 be launched in September. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear.

What are your initial thoughts and plans for your HMD commemoration, and how you will use the theme? Are there resources or life stories which you think are particularly fitting? Please let us know.

Please let your friends and networks know about the theme for HMD 2016 – Don’t stand by.