Thursday, January 21, 2016

Don't Stand By - the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

Next Wednesday, January 27th 2016, the 71st anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp, will be marked as Holocaust Memorial day

The day will commemorate all victims of genocide, from the Armenian victims of a Turkish attempted genocide during the First World War to the Yazidi victims of DA'ESH whose plight still continues. The theme will be "Don't Stand By."

The Holocaust and subsequent genocides took place because the local populations allowed insidious persecution to take root. Whilst some actively supported or facilitated state policies of persecution, the vast majority stood by silently – at best, afraid to speak out; at worst, indifferent. Bystanders enabled the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides.
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has written powerfully about the impact of bystanders:
"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."
You can find out more about 2016’s theme in the Holocaust Memorial Trust's theme vision.

Film and microsite

In their film for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, Susan Pollack, a survivor of the Holocaust, tells a unique story of surviving genocide for the first time. See more here.

The trust is encouraging as many people as possible to share Susan's video at 1pm on 27th January.

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