HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY THURSDAY 27TH JANUARY 2011
Thursday 27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day 2011 and marks the 66th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz- Birkenau. On this day, the challenge to teachers and young people is to search out the Untold Stories of the Holocaust.
HMD provides an opportunity to encourage young people to listen to the voices from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides. As well as taking from them lessons of hope for a safer and more inclusive future, we hope that by engaging with HMD your students will be inspired to make a different in their own communities as well as engaging with and remembering the past.
Although we know it is not always possible, ACT encourages teachers to exploit the opportunity provideed by HMD this week and allow them to young people to approach HMD through a wide variety of activities. Some students may appreciate periods of quieter reflection; some may want to debate and discuss how they can take part in awareness raising in their own community. HMD is also an ideal opportunity for students to join in events in their local community so they can share with different generations but it is up to everyone to decide how to mark HMD, there is no right or wrong way.
Genocide is not a comfortable subject to tackle but it is essential. ACT is not asking teachers to imagine what life was like under the Nazi regime or during the genocide in Rwanda – only survivors can do that. ACT is asking for pupils to investigate what happened, to listen to the voices from that period and apply those lessons to lives today.
HMD is a poignant reminder of what can happen when hatred is left unchecked. HMD 2011 is a chance to focus on positive action by reflecting on how the survivors rebuilt their lives and lived to bear witness to the past.
Find out more at Holocaust Memorial Day Resources for Citizenship Teachers