This Monday (April 13) saw a day of Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) activity at the People’s History Museum in Manchester, which hosted our Youth Champions’ Day followed by a reception to launch the theme for HMD 2016 – Don’t stand by.
A total of 28 young people travelled from places as far afield as Glasgow, Hartlepool and Kent for an afternoon which included training in campaigning, a lecture about the threat from Holocaust denial by Professor Matthew Feldman, and a chance to chat to Holocaust survivors and refugees Ben Helfgott MBE, Adash Bulwa, Sam Gontarz, Sam Laskier, Edith Jayne and Milena Grenfell-Baines over tea.
This was followed by a reception to launch the theme for HMD 2016, where we were also joined by HMD activity organisers from across the north-west of England.
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, announced the theme:
‘Don’t stand by will enable people to learn about how bystanders created cultures in which the Holocaust and subsequent genocides were able to take place, and about the rescuers and resisters who challenged this. HMD 2016 will encourage people to consider the ways in which they can choose not to be bystanders today, both to antisemitism, racism and hate crime, and to international threats of genocide.’
Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines spoke about how Sir Nicholas Winton had refused to be a bystander in 1938, when he arranged for Milena, and hundreds of other Jewish children from Czechoslovakia, to be rescued and taken to the UK.