Wednesday, 5 April, 2017

The power of words is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018.

Words can make a difference – both for good and evil

I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I am so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s in me. When I write I can shake off all my cares; my sorrow disappears; my spirits are revived. - Anne Frank, written in her diary, 5 April 1944

Spoken and written words from individuals, corporations, community organisations or the state, can have a huge impact, whether good or bad. The theme for HMD 2018 explores how language has been used in the past, and how it is used in the present day. 

HMD activities could focus on the impact that words had in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, through propaganda used to incite, through slogans written in resistance, and through memoirs written to record and respond to what was going on. The words that we see and hear all around us today – in newspapers, online, in conversations – the words that we chose to use, all have an impact upon us and those around us.

Download a copy of the full Theme Vision here.

Scope of the theme:

  • The power of words
  • Words written during the Holocaust and during the subsequent genocides
    • a) by perpetrators
    • b) by people who wanted to criticise perpetrator regimes, or stand up against them
    • c) by people who wrote to survive, or to record their experiences for the future
  • Words written as a response to Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the subsequent genocides 
  • Words today
  • How we respond to words
  • The power of definitions
  • Free speech and censorship