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
What you can do
Get involved guides
Resources for educators
Our range of lesson plans and assemblies support educators to engage with the theme Don't stand by.
2016 Life stories
We have launched the life stories which accompany and illustrate the 2016 theme: