Since 2007 the University of Essex has marked Holocaust Memorial Day with a series of events taking place around the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet troops.
The week provides a focus for remembering the millions of people killed in the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in countries such as Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. It is also an opportunity for us to look at human rights issues, explore discrimination that still exists today, and lessons still to be learned by the Holocaust.
Holocaust Memorial week will take place between Monday 27 - Friday 31 January 2020. Events will include the Reading of Names to remember the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides, a Lantern-making workshop followed by the Procession of Light to commemorate 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia and a Film Screening on the fascinating story of Ben Ferencz, one of the Holocaust's most heroic figures.
Events will also include a lecture given by Dr Roman Nieczyporowski from the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts, a performance by multi-award winning ensemble Don Kipper and our annual Dora Love Prize. Ending the week with an evening service on Friday where there will be readings and reflections in the spirit of peace and friendship and which is open to all.
More information on the events for 2020 will be given soon.
Each year during Holocaust Memorial Week, a number of events take place, each reflecting a different theme. These events include talks, lectures, exhibitions, film screenings and more.
The first week with a specific theme was in 2009, when 'STAND UP TO HATRED' was chosen by the National Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. This theme was chosen to highlight the extreme consequences of hatred, and help us to look at our behaviour toward others and explore how each of us can help make our communities stronger and safer.
Over the years, other themes have included; disability and euthanasia, issues including prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and stigmatization, the experiences of the Roma and Sinti, the persecution of gay men under the Nazi regime, and the struggle for the human rights and dignity of LGBT people since 1945.
"The awareness that work for greater tolerance, for human dignity and human rights starts on our doorsteps, in our schools and in our local communities."