Undoubtedly the most powerful contribution which can be made to a HMD event is from a survivor of the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution, or subsequent genocides. Listening to a survivor recount their story is an intense experience for an audience who are likely to have a profound reaction to hearing it.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust does not arrange for speakers to attend local HMD activities, but we do have a list of organisations that might be able to assist. Book early and be aware survivors are in great demand on or around HMD.
If you are unable to secure a survivor speaker, consider reading a testimony, playing a podcast or showing a film of a survivor story. You can use all HMDT resources without permission, but you must seek authority to show other films or play music.
If you are fortunate enough that a survivor agrees to speak at your event, always keep the following in mind:
• Speaking about horrific and painful experiences is traumatic and difficult for most survivors – always be respectful and supportive.
• Speak to the survivor speaker in advance about the format of the event and what you would like them to do. Bear in mind that many survivors are used to telling their story in great detail, from beginning to end. Agree in advance how long their speech at your event will be.
• Make sure your audience is of an appropriate age. Some survivors are not prepared to tell their life stories to young children.
• Ensure your audience is fully prepared to listen to the survivor tell their story. It is crucial that they listen attentively and respectfully.
• Explain to the survivor the programme for the rest of your event, and check they are happy to participate alongside any other speakers, performers and activities.
45 Aid Society – Holocaust Survivors and second generation speakers
Flat 4, Broadlands
Association of Jewish Refugees – Holocaust Survivors and Refugees
020 8385 3070
Holocaust Educational Trust – Holocaust Survivors
BCM Box 7892
020 7222 6822
Manchester Jewish Museum – Holocaust Survivors
190 Cheetham Hill Road
0161 834 9879
Survivors Tribune - survivors of genocide, including Rwanda and Darfur
www.survivorstribune.org (coming soon)