Holocaust Memorial Day
Last updated: 2004-01-28
Holocaust Memorial Day
The purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day is to remember the Holocaust and other victims of the Nazi era in a way that alerts us to what can happen if we do not take personal and collective responsibility for tackling racism and other forms of bigotry. The national event will play an important role in promoting this and will set the tone for a range of school and community activities.
The 2004 event will reflect the theme of 'From the Holocaust to Rwanda; lessons learned , lessons still to learn'. It will strike a balance between remembering the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide and reflecting on their contemporary relevance and will be challenging as well as moving.
There will also be a focus on the reality of and potential/need for good in the face of evil; the event will not just be about perpetrators, victims and bystanders but will also include the helpers, resisters and liberators, then and now.
The challenge is to produce a national event that conveys this purpose in a meaningful and imaginative way, capturing people's attention and making them think about, as well as feel moved by, the appalling events of the Holocaust.
Further details regarding the 2004 national event's location, venue, provisional programme and invitation arrangements will be placed under the National Event section of this web site on an on going basis.
Aims of Local Events
Like the national event, local events and activities lay the foundations for the success of Holocaust Memorial Day. They allow the following key messages of the Day to reach everyone:
- To remember all victims of the Holocaust
- To reflect upon more recent atrocities
- To educate about the dangers of antisemitism, racism and all forms of discrimination.
The theme for 2004 - From the Holocaust to Rwanda; lessons learned , lessons still to learn - can be used by local organisers to help focus their planned event. The most successful events often address relevant local and community issues as well.
As in the case of the national event, Holocaust Memorial Day community events should look to combine both the remembrance and educational aspects of the Day -- to remember the past and to educate about its relevance today. The universal implications of the Holocaust make this day relevant to all people and it is a positive way to bring together individuals from all strands of the local community to stand up against discrimination, prejudice and ignorance.