Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is marked each year on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi extermination and concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. HMD seeks to highlight the importance of understanding and combating the processes that led to the mass extermination of Jews during World War II, and to recognise that the type of behaviour demonstrated in Nazi Germany was not unique either to Germany or to a particular point in history. More recent events in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur amply demonstrate the propensity of human beings to engage in mass murder. The theme for HMD 2018 is 'The Power of Words', exploring how language has been used in the past, and how it is used in the present day, whether this be through propaganda used to incite, through slogans written in resistance, and through memoirs written to record and respond to what was going on You can find further information on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website, and especially their pages for educators, which feature a range of materials for UK schools: primary, secondary, post-16 and SEN. There is also HMD interactive, which has a range of range of free online workshops to help you mark the day.
Further teaching resources, support and ideas
- The British Red Cross has a lesson plan and teaching ideas around Holocaust Memorial Day.
- The UCL Centre for Holocaust Education has a Holocaust Education Development Programme which offers professional development and resources for teaching about the holocaust.
- A teacher who benefited from the UCL programme has written a Guardian article on Transforming holocaust education with really interesting lesson ideas.
- The United Nations Association – UK (UNA-UK) has a page with background information and teaching activities for this Day.
- To find further teaching resources have a browse through those listed on our database with the keywords 'holocaust' or 'genocide'.