Each year we organise a UK commemorative event which acts as a spotlight for all of the HMD activities in the UK, in addition to ensuring national events take place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

The UK commemorative event honours survivors of the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution, and subsequent genocides; and enables the UK’s political and religious leadership to mark HMD.

HMD 2017

On Thursday 26 January 2017 more than 200 Holocaust and genocide survivors were joined by around 1,000 guests, including faith, civic and political leaders, at the UK Commemorative Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day 2017. 

Contributors included Mishal Husain, Jim Broadbent, Samuel Barnett, Nicola Walker, Timothy West and Nina Wadia. Music was provided by The Clothworkers Consort of Leeds, singer Olivier Nzaramba and Steve Wickham and his band. Speakers included The Chief Rabbi, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence. 

Read more about the ceremony here. 

Read more about HMD 2017 commemorations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Read more about the reach and impact of HMD 2017 here. 

HMD 2016

 

The UK's Commemorative Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 took place at central London's historic Guildhall, and was organised by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) and broadcast on BBC Two. More than 600 people attended the ceremony, including many senior political, religious, diplomatic and civic figures.

Contributors included Emilia Fox, Freddie Fox, Naomie Harris, Robert Lindsay, David Olusoga, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas and Kevin Whately. Music was provided by Darfuri singer Shurooq Abu el Nas, the Choir of Clare College Cambridge, the London Klezmer Quartet and violinist Jennifer Pike. Speakers included The Chief Rabbi and the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government.

 

 

HMD 2015

The nation's Holocaust Memorial Day 2015 UK Commemorative Ceremony, organised by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) and broadcast on BBC Two, took place at Central Hall Westminster, with a huge gathering of survivors, dignitaries and celebrities participating in a moving and poignant event. 

Over 1,000 guests came together to mark HMD on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and crowning over a year of hard work by HMDT.

Survivors and their experiences were at the heart of the day, reflecting the HMD 2015 theme Keep the memory alive and ensuring that we pay respect to their unimaginable suffering while retaining the lessons of the past for future generations.
 
The ceremony commenced with a procession led by six survivors, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, and Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, beginning a powerful programme of music, testimony and film produced in collaboration with the BBC.
 
Contributors included Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Christopher Eccleston, Keeley Hawes, Laurence Fox, Sir John Hurt, Natasha Kaplinsky, Sarah Lancashire, Adrian Lester OBE, and Michael Palin.
 
Prime Minister Rt Hon David Cameron MP used his speech to announce his support for the conclusions of the Holocaust Commission, to invest £50 million into a Holocaust memorial and education centre in central London.
 
The ceremony was preceded by a special reception for survivors and refugees. Guests at the reception included Their Royal Highnesses Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the three main Westminster party leaders, the Archbishop of Canterbury, celebrity contributors to the ceremony and members of the Holocaust Commission.
 
 

Over 1,000 guests came together to mark HMD on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and crowning over a year of hard work from the staff here at HMDT.

Survivors and their experiences were at the heart of the day, reflecting the HMD 2015 theme Keep the memory alive and ensuring that we pay respect to their unimaginable suffering while retaining the lessons of the past for future generations.

The ceremony commenced with a procession led by six survivors, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, and Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, beginning a powerful programme of music, testimony and film produced in collaboration with the BBC.

Actor Adrian Lester OBE narrated the proceedings, first introducing the Aldeburgh Young Musicians performing Eliyahu Hanavi, which was arranged by Viktor Ulmann, a composer who was murdered in Auschwitz on 18 October 1944. Significantly, the young choir was conducted by Simon Wallfisch, the grandson of Holocaust survivor and member of the Auschwitz Girls’ Orchestra Anita Lasker-Wallfisch.

Other celebrities contributing to the ceremony included actor Sir John Hurt reading Primo Levi’s poem Shema, actor Keeley Hawes reading a letter written to a child saved by Sir Nicholas Winton, and Michael Palin speaking the words of ill-fated Sonderkommando member Salmen Gradowski.

Member of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission Natasha Kaplinsky and actor Sarah Lancashire brought the audience’s attention to the Nazi Persecution of Roma, gay and disabled people, while actor Christopher Eccleston read Elie Wiesel’s moving poem Never shall I forget.

- See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/news/holocaust-memorial-day-2015-uk-ceremony-honours-survivor-memory#sthash.LCosw6ym.dpuf

Survivors and their experiences were at the heart of the day, reflecting the HMD 2015 theme Keep the memory alive and ensuring that we pay respect to their unimaginable suffering while retaining the lessons of the past for future generations.

The ceremony commenced with a procession led by six survivors, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, and Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, beginning a powerful programme of music, testimony and film produced in collaboration with the BBC.

Actor Adrian Lester OBE narrated the proceedings, first introducing the Aldeburgh Young Musicians performing Eliyahu Hanavi, which was arranged by Viktor Ulmann, a composer who was murdered in Auschwitz on 18 October 1944. Significantly, the young choir was conducted by Simon Wallfisch, the grandson of Holocaust survivor and member of the Auschwitz Girls’ Orchestra Anita Lasker-Wallfisch.

Other celebrities contributing to the ceremony included actor Sir John Hurt reading Primo Levi’s poem Shema, actor Keeley Hawes reading a letter written to a child saved by Sir Nicholas Winton, and Michael Palin speaking the words of ill-fated Sonderkommando member Salmen Gradowski.

Member of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission Natasha Kaplinsky and actor Sarah Lancashire brought the audience’s attention to the Nazi Persecution of Roma, gay and disabled people, while actor Christopher Eccleston read Elie Wiesel’s moving poem Never shall I forget.

- See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/news/holocaust-memorial-day-2015-uk-ceremony-honours-survivor-memory#sthash.LCosw6ym.dpuf

 

HMD 2014

Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP launched HMD 2014 at a special ceremony at King's Cross Station. Partner organisations including Camden Council, the Jewish Mauseum, PAN Intercultural Arts and the Wiener Library spent the morning engaging with the public about the importance of HMD.

Pictured: Cllr Jonathan Simpson, Mayor of Camden; Eric Murangwa, survivor of the Genocide in Rwanda; Ben Helfgott MBE, Honorary President, HMDT; Sabina Miller, survivor of the Holocaust; Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive, HMDT; Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister

 
 
Leader of the Opposition Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP spoke about the forced journeys of his parents to escape the Holocaust, at the UK Commemorative Event for HMD. He was joined by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP.
 
Five survivors powerfully shared their life stories from within the audience, highlighting that survivors live amongst us in our communities: Freddie Knoller, a survivor of the Holocaust; Sokphal Din, a survivor of the Genocide in Cambodia; Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, who came to the UK with the help of Sir Nicholas Winton; Appolinaire Kageruka, a survivor of the Genocide in Rwanda; and Kemal Pervanić, a survivor of the Omarska Concentration Camp in Bosnia. - See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/news/ed-miliband-joins-survivors-uk-commemorative-event-holocaust-memorial-day#sthash.zVLKUYqH.dpuf
Five survivors powerfully shared their life stories from within the audience, highlighting that survivors live amongst us in our communities: Freddie Knoller, a survivor of the Holocaust; Sokphal Din, a survivor of the Genocide in Cambodia; Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, who came to the UK with the help of Sir Nicholas Winton; Appolinaire Kageruka, a survivor of the Genocide in Rwanda; and Kemal Pervanić, a survivor of the Omarska Concentration Camp in Bosnia. 
 
photograph of Ed Miliband © Elliott Franks 
 
In the evening Prime Minister Rt Hon David Cameron MP welcomed survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides to a reception at 10 Downing Street to mark HMD and announce the members of his Holocaust Commission.
 
Scotland's National HMD Commemorative Event took place at Stirling’s Macrobert Arts Centre and featured talks from Holocaust survivor Dr Alfred Münzer and survivor of the Genocide in Cambodia Arn Chorn-Pond.
 
The Welsh Government and Cardiff Council held the national HMD commemorations for Wales.  Around 600 people gathered in Cardiff City Hall to hear about the life stories and journeys taken by survivors seeking sanctuary in the UK, as well as journeys taken, in memory, by younger people back to sites of persecution.
 
City Hall in Belfast played host to the Northern Ireland HMD national event this year, with Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell MLA and Jennifer McCann MLA and Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir all in attendance.
 

HMD 2013

The UK commemorative event for HMD 2013 took place in central London and reflected the theme Communities together: build a bridge. A choir sang a specially commissioned song, A bridge of voice.

We were privileged to be joined by two survivors who told their stories to the hundreds of guests gathered in Westminster.
 
Kitty Hart-Moxon OBE spoke about her experiences as a teenage girl in the Lublin Ghetto, at the extermination camp at Auschwitz Birkenau, on a death march, as a slave labourer, and her eventual liberation.
 
Rwandan genocide survivor Sophie told her story of how she survived the 1994 Genocide in Rwandan.
 
Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP also addressed the guests, and Cantor Jonny Turgel, grandson of a Holocaust survivor, sang the prayer, El Male Rachamim . The ceremony was hosted by renowned historian Simon Schama CBE, and Rwandan-born journalist Yoletta Nyange. Six candles were lit to commemorate victims of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution, and the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Music was provided by Tatcho Drom, performing Gypsy songs.
 
HMDT also held a special public event on the Millennium Bridge in central London. The ceremony featured the lighting of a candle by Holocaust survivor and President of HMDT, Ben Helfgott MBE, and the ACM Gospel choir singing the specially commissioned song, A bridge of voice. Members of the public signed personal statements, pledging to build a bridge in their communities for HDM. 
 
The main Scottish event for HMD in 2013 was held in Glasgow in partnership with Interfaith Scotland, the Scottish Government and HMD’s Scottish Champion Alison Logan. A weeklong series of events culminated with an event held at the City Chambers, hosted by two pupils from Holyrood Secondary School, which brought together school pupils to share learning about the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.
 
The Welsh commemoration for HMD took place at Cardiff City Hall. The event was organised by Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government and was open to the general public. The First Minister of Wales, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, gave a reading and laid a wreath.
 
The main HMD event in Northern Ireland took place in Newtownards. The keynote speaker was Marilyn Taylor, author of the book Faraway Home which tells the story of children who travelled to safety in Millisle, Northern Ireland on the Kindertransport. This story highlighted the theme of Communities together and the importance embracing those different from ourselves and helping out in difficult times.
 

HMD 2012

The UK event for HMD 2012 was held in London. For the first time ever, the UK event also featured an exhibition element, which has been made available as a download to use in HMD activities.

The event featured performances by Solid Harmony Choir, a recitation of El Male Rachamim, a performance from Aven Romale,as well as speeches from Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP and films from the Prime MInister, Deputy Prime Minister, The Chief Rabbi and The Archbishop of Canterbury. Our Youth Champion, Joshua Whatsize also read out What if it were me? the poetry competition winner written by Noamh Hannon, who won our competition for best piece of original poetry based on the theme for HMD 2012, Speak up, speak out.
 

HMD 2011

The UK event for HMD 2011 was held in London. The event was hosted by actor Simon Callow and contained music, an exhibition and a filmed candle-lighting featuring the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and First Minister of each nation. The theme for HMD 2011 was Untold stories.
 

HMD 2010

The UK event for HMD 2010 took place in London. The event centred around the theme for HMD 2010 The legacy of hope and used a specially commissioned song by Howard Goodall throughout.
 

HMD 2009

The UK event for HMD 2009 was co-hosted by Coventry City Council and was held in the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. The event was a weekend-long programme featuring a procession through the city, street performance and public art. You can watch highlights of the HMD 2009 event. The theme for HMD 2009 was Stand up to hatred.
 

HMD 2008

The HMD 2008 UK event was co-hosted with Liverpool City Council during their year as the European Capital of Culture. The event featured music, performance and readings from the Chief Rabbi and Archbishop of Canterbury. As the event took place, artists worked outside the venue to create pavement art that asked passers-by to Imagine: remember, reflect, react, our theme for HMD 2008.
 

HMD 2007

The UK event for 2007 was held in partnership with Newcastle City Council. It featured poems, readings and music, centred round the theme The dignity of difference.
 

HMD 2006

The UK event for 2006 was held in Cardiff, Wales. The event was organised in partnership with the Welsh Assembly and Cardiff City Council. Artistic Director Michael Bogdanov brought together choirs, musicians and dancers. The audience heard from the then Prime Minister Rt Hon Tony Blair and from General Romeo Dallaire who refused to leave Rwanda during the genocide. The event reflected the theme of One person can make a difference.
 

HMD under the Home Office

The Home Office organised the UK events before HMDT came into existence. These events were:
2005 – London
2004 – Belfast
2003 – Manchester
2002 – Edinburgh
2001 – London