Holocaust Memorial Day 2022

Holocaust Memorial Day is a time to remember all those affected by the Holocaust and genocide and take action to create a better future. On this important day, Rector Lise Hudson shares her reflections.

Holocaust Memorial Day

'Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place on 27 January each year and is a time to remember the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Holocaust Memorial Day is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own – it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented. We’re fortunate here in the UK; we are not at immediate risk of genocide. However, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. There is still much to do to create a safer future and HMD is an opportunity to start this process'. Extract and image from the Holocaust Memorial Day Website.

"I have the privilege of teaching a Form 2 History class this session. This provides two periods in the week when I can go back and be reminded of the reason why I wanted to become a teacher and to engage a fresh in sharing my passion for History and why I believe understanding the past, to inform the present matters so much. My Form 2 class can testify that I place a lot of emphasis on the importance of acquiring the skill to express a view based on evidence and a determination to interrogate that evidence before arriving at a balanced conclusion. There are no right or wrong answers; only what you can prove through skilled analysis and expression. They have excelled in this and are a joy to teach (just for the record!) 

Light the Darkness

"Having recently been immersed in examining the extent to which the German people supported the Nazis, we have moved on to our unit on The Holocaust. These are complex and important topics that raise fundamental issues as to how we see each other as fellow human beings and how we act when we see discrimination, violence, cruelty and the abuse of power. Far from being issues from the past they are all too real and relevant to our world today. This is the case within the international context, locally and also within our own community. The importance of a shared commitment to demanding that our community has the confidence and understanding to speak out has never been more important. I believe, is a crucial element which ensures that we demonstrate our core values every day.

"The theme of this year's HMD is One Day and it asks us to reflect and learn calling us to action.

  • Learn about One Day in history
  • Learn how One Day changed a life
  • Learn how those from History took One Day at a time
  • Focus on One Day in the future
  • Understand that One Day is a snapshot and that we must always remember.

"The past two years have given us much cause to pause and reflect. We are connected to History as it happens, every day via a whole range of communication channels. If we look and listen, push to see past the stability, freedoms and rights of our own situations, we have the power to shape a new future. Holocaust Memorial Day provides a chance to pause on this One Day and to recognise our obligation to always remember and act to stand against all types of discrimination, persecution and violence wherever we see it. 

"On this HMD 2022 I want to leave the final words to Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel  describing his experiences in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. Wiesel was a teenager at that time and was imprisoned with his father, who died before liberation."

'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. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the centre of the universe.'