The city of Manchester will mark Holocaust Memorial Day by lighting up the Tower of Light and by hosting an event in Central Library.
National Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January and is an opportunity to learn about the past and take action for a better future.
This year, the guiding theme for Holocaust Memorial Day is “Ordinary People”. People across the world are encouraged to consider how ordinary people were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust and, how ordinary people can play a bigger part in challenging prejudice today.
Since 2001, Holocaust Memorial Day has been held on the same day each year and provides people all over the world an opportunity to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may be one Day in the future with no genocide.
Manchester City Council will be hosting an event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on the 26 January. The event, entitled ‘Ordinary Perpetrators, Extraordinary Survival- An Audience with Janine Webber BEM, Holocaust Survivor’ has been organised in collaboration with the National Holocaust Centre and Museum and offers people a unique opportunity to hear from a Holocaust survivor.
The event itself is invite only and will be live-streamed for the public on the council channels. More info can be found here: https://vimeo.com/event/2791907
As part of the event, attendees will see a demonstration of ‘The Forever Project’, which is a AI technology platform created by the National Holocaust Centre and Museum to immortalise conversations with Holocaust survivors. The Forever Project allows people to put thousands of questions to Holocaust survivors even after they have passed away and receive the answers in real time, ensuring that their stories are not lost as time passes. More information can be found here: The Forever Project | The National Holocaust Centre and Museum.
In tandem with this, to show Manchester’s solidarity with Holocaust Memorial Day, the Tower of Light, located in the city centre, will be lit up purple – as part of a national moment of commemoration- from 4pm on 27 January.
Manchester Jewish Museum will also be marking Holocaust Memorial Day with a series of free reflective performances and workshops due to take place on 27 January. The event is titled ‘We Remember Them In Verbs’ and was co-created with a group of young people called ‘Creative Activists’. It explores how people can share the lesser-heard Holocaust stories and connect them with our local communities.
There will be a new exhibition at the museum, musical performances and a baking workshop. Full programme and more information can be found here: https://www.manchesterjewishmuseum.com/season/we-remember-them-in-verbs/.
Councillor Joanna Midgley, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: “Holocaust Memorial Day acts as an ever-present reminder of the atrocities of the Holocaust. On this annual day we will honour the six million victims and we stand in solidarity with the communities and families affected.
“It is essential for us as a city to unite and reflect on this period. As well as discuss how important it is for us to speak up against prejudice today and, work together to create a welcoming atmosphere for all residents of Manchester.
“This year, we will be distributing resources to schools to educate young people and residents have the unique opportunity to hear from Janine Webster, a Holocaust Survivor who’ll be speaking about her life – I’d like to invite all to join our live stream and watch the event.”
Marc Cave, Director of the National Holocaust Centre and Museum said: “We are delighted to be partnering Manchester City Council to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. It will help ensure that Janine’s testimony is heard far and wide – both in person and through The Forever Project. When listening to witnesses like Janine, it is crucial to join the dots between the hate she experienced in the 1940s and the anti-Jewish racism of today.
“We are seeing a marked rise on social media and even on the street. The myths and conspiracy theories behind it are exactly the same as those which led to the Holocaust.“Having been a student at Manchester University, I know what a friendly and cosmopolitan place Manchester is. So I’m hopeful that through our partnership with Manchester City Council, we can extend our Museum’s warm community of ‘critical thinkers’, who know how to challenge the misinformation and ignorance upon which all forms of racism are based.”