Wednesday, 27 January, 2016

Don’t stand by was the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016.

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.

Film and microsite

In our film for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, Susan Pollack, a survivor of the Holocaust, tells a unique story of surviving genocide for the first time.


Please share the film using social media, and sign up to our Thunderclap, so that the film is shared widely at 1pm on 27 January.

If you are planning an event to mark HMD 2016, you might want to consider playing this film to attendees. The film can be played through our microsite and YouTube, or alternatively if you require an offline version please visit our Vimeo page where you can download a copy.  


Your Activity Pack

Your Activity Pack contains advice and guidance for holding a Holocaust Memorial Day activity and is your first step for marking HMD 2016.
It includes a set of posters, a guide to taking action to mark HMD, a sample About HMD booklet, a set of stickers, and a HMD badge.  


What you can do

We have an exciting new resource which encourages us all to think about action we can take so we are not standing by to genocide, persecution and injustice.
This resource is full of ideas, people and case studies to inspire you, your students, your audience, anyone and everyone to take action and not stand by. The activities will all work well together and will support each other, but you can also focus on just one area. You can find it here.


Get involved guides 

The messages of Holocaust Memorial Day are relevant to us all. A successful programme means that your audience will understand why Holocaust Memorial Day is relevant to them. To help you to do this we have produced:
Activity templates to guide you through a HMD activity if you have 10 to 30 minutes, one to two hours, or a half day to a day.
Our Don't stand by resource is full of ideas, people and case studies to inspire you, your students, your audience, anyone and everyone to take action and not stand by. 
Advice for how to get involved through books and through film for Holocaust Memorial Day 2015.
National and Regional Resources provide tailored advice for marking HMD in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (with a Welsh language translation here). Each guide features specific local experiences that you may wish to use when planning your HMD event.
In partnership with Diversity Role Models we have produced a guide exploring the LGBT themes related to HMD. This useful resource explores the Nazi Persecution of LGBT people and offers contemporary perspectives on discrimination. 

Resources for educators

Our range of lesson plans and assemblies support educators to engage with the theme Don't stand by.
We have produced assemblies and classroom activities for all ages between 8 and 18. We have also produced SEN materials as well as easy to read versions of our life stories to ensure our resources are accessible to as many people as possible.

2016 Life stories

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

The Sonderkommando

Rudolf Vrba

Zahava Kohn

Ivor Perl

Sir Nicholas Winton

Vera Schaufeld

Sydney and Golda Bourne           

Susanne Kenton

Anna Maria ‘Settela’ Steinbach

Johann ‘Rukeli’ Trollmann 

Helene Melanie Lebel

Raphael Lemkin

Carl and Teresa Wilkins

Nisad ‘ŠiŠko’ Jakupović