On Wednesday we remembered the millions of lives lost to genocide for Holocaust Memorial Day.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp 76 years ago. HMD is a day of remembrance for the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi Persecution and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
We marked the day by discussing the act of remembrance – why it’s important that we pause to reflect and remember – and considered the role memory plays in ensuring that the mistakes of the past can never happen again. The Daily Dolphin, our daily newsletter for students and staff, drew attention to #LightTheDarkness, the theme for this year’s day of remembrance. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.
Students looked at the poem If This Is A Man by Primo Levi and analysed the meaning of the line ‘Meditate that this came about’ – how it’s our collective responsibility to make a future free from prejudice, discrimination and intolerance. Students also spent time researching the lives of Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, Victor Gollancz, Brigadier Glyn Hughes, Rabbi Leslie Hardman and Reverend James Parkes and their harrowing stories of persecution, survival and liberation.