Survivor of the Holocaust Dr Martin Stern, has travelled to Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland and has spoken to local school students and community groups in preparation for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2018.
Martin shared his experiences of growing up in Amsterdam, when as a five year old boy he was arrested by the Nazis, along with his one year old sister. Martin survived the Holocaust having been sent to Westerbork transit camp and then to Theresienstadt concentration camp, in what is now the Czech Republic.
His visit comes in preparation for Northern Ireland’s marking of Holocaust Memorial Day 2018, and a regional ceremony to be held in Derry/Londonderry.
As part of his trip, Martin travelled to Magilligan Prison, where a large exhibition exploring the Holocaust and genocide has been created by prisoners and staff. Martin met prisoners and spoke to them about his experiences.
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said:
‘This year the theme for HMD, 27 January, is The power of words. We are delighted that hundreds of students from schools around Derry/Londonderry have had the opportunity to hear from Dr Martin Stern, a survivor of the Holocaust. His remarkable experiences are a powerful reminder of the consequences of unchecked discrimination and hatred, as well as the power of words both for good and evil.
'More than 700 local activities took place across Northern Ireland for HMD 2017, bringing people together from all walks of life. We hope that schools, community organisations and individuals will mark HMD 2018 and learn lessons from the past to create a safer, better future.
'Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is pleased to be working once again with the Executive Office in Northern Ireland to help support Holocaust Memorial Day 2018.’
Speaking at the launch of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s resources for HMD 2018, Dr Martin Stern said:
‘The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 is: The power of words. Words can strengthen the thin shield of civilisation or shatter it.’