Reading of Names
On 27 January each year, we come together to remember the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides with the ‘Reading of Names’. This year, we asked our community to join this act of remembrance by recording short videos. Introduced by Professor Anthony Forster, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex.
Lantern making workshop
Students, staff and members of the public joined artists Tom and Iris in the Silberrad Student Centre foyer to make lanterns for the Procession of Light which took place in the evening.
Procession of light
University of Essex staff, students and members of the public joined together for the Procession of Light. We walked across the Colchester Campus on Holocaust Memorial Day, accompanied by musicians from the Band of Fools.
The procession finished with a gathering outside the Lakeside Theatre for a moment of reflection with a poem read by Dr Marian De Vooght. Following our moment of reflection, there were refreshments for all, baked by the Good Souls Bakery in the Lakeside Café.
Memorial day ceremony
The UK Holocaust Memorial Day 2022 ceremony was streamed online. Households across the UK lit candles or other electronic lights and safely put them in their windows to:
- remember those who were murdered for who they were
- stand against prejudice and hatred today
University of Essex staff and students and members of our local community joined together for an online service, which included Jewish memorial prayers for the departed. There were readings and reflections in the spirit of peace and friendship. The service was led by Ruth Stone.
Film screening and panel discussion: Son of Saul
CINE 10, our on-campus cinema screened the Oscar-winning drama set in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion with Dr Andrew Fagan, Director of the Human Rights Centre and Co-Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Week Organising Committee; Professor Carla Ferstman from the School of Law and Professor Elizabeth Kuti from the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies.
The Durban Diaries - 20 Years On
Our panel of speakers recalled what happened in South Africa 20 years ago from the perspective of a student participant in the NGO Forum and the author of the 'Durban Diaries', which records and recollects the events that continue to affect Jewish life today, especially on campuses. We also heard from leading members of the Jewish community in South Africa who reflected on how the events from 20 years ago affect their lives today. Other speakers focussed on student experiences of contemporary antisemitism in UK campuses and on global advocacy efforts to combat antisemitism.
Words with... Professor Wendy Lower, author of 'The Ravine: A family, a photograph, a Holocaust massacre revealed'
Our online ‘Words with…’ event was with acclaimed historian Professor Wendy Lower who talked about her book ‘The Ravine’ which explores an exceptionally rare image documenting the horrific final moment of the murder of a family during the Holocaust.
The terrible mass shootings in Poland and Ukraine are often neglected in studies of the Holocaust because the perpetrators were meticulously careful to avoid leaving any evidence of their actions. Professor Lower stumbled across one such piece of evidence – a photograph documenting the shooting of a mother and her children and the men who killed them – and has crafted a forensically brilliant and moving study that brings the larger horror of the genocide into focus.
Following the talk, Dr Joanna Rzepa from the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies and Co-Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Week Organising Committee was ‘in conversation’ with Professor Lower about her research for ‘The Ravine’ and our audience had a chance to ask questions.
The Lakeside Theatre audience enjoyed a special Holocaust Memorial Week performance from the award-winning Klezmer band, Don Kipper.
Harwich and the Kindertransport
This event was postponed and will now take place in January 2023 - the 85th Anniversary of the Kindertransport. Staff and students from the University of Essex were invited to visit the Harwich Museum to hear more about the role of the Port of Harwich, just 13 miles from Colchester, in the Kindertransport and to find out more about the Harwich Museum.
Mike Levy, Author and Chair of The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust planned to give a talk on ‘Harwich and the Kindertransport’ whilst giving audience members a chance to ask questions. David Whittle, Curator, had planned to talk more about the Harwich Museum and Nigel Spencer DL, Founder and Vice Chair of The Harwich Kindertransport Memorial and Learning Trust was due to tell us more about this fascinating project to create a new memorial statue and a supporting educational programme in Harwich.
The visit had planned to finish with a walk to the site of the new memorial.
Holocaust Memorial Day Annual Service of Commemoration: Southend
Members of the Southend-on-Sea community gathered for their annual service of commemoration to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. There was music, reflections, a presentation from a local secondary school, poetry and an address by Mr Bernie Graham.
Tree-planting ceremony: Southend
The Worshipful the Mayor of Southend, Councillor Margaret Borton, along with the Jewish Community, planted a tree at the junction of Carnarvon Road and Victoria Avenue, in memory of those who perished in the Nazi death camps and in other genocides across the world.
Exhibitions - ‘Stars Without a Heaven Children in the Holocaust’ and ‘Pogrom - November 1938’: Southend
Holocaust Memorial Day Exhibitions were on display at the Forum, Elmer Square, Southend, from Monday 10 January – Tuesday 25 January. The exhibitions were then relocated at the Civic Centre for the service of commemoration on Wednesday 26 January.
- Joe Chaplin from the Albert Sloman Library has written an in-depth blog post: Dive into History: Commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day.
- Natalie Clubb compiled a Holocaust timeline in Padlet.
- Colleagues from the Albert Sloman Library created a reading list for Holocaust Memorial Week.
- Amy Zahl Gottlieb Collection: Amy Zahl Gottlieb worked from 1944 to 1952 for the Central British Fund for German Jewry (CBF), then went to America to take up a post at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign where she started a programme in holocaust education and returned to Britain in the late 1980s to act as the CBF’s honorary historian and archivist. She donated her personal library, and some 46 reels of microfilm, reproducing the Archives of the Central British Fund and the text of the Jewish Chronicle from 1937 to 1939, to the Library in 2002. The collection contains approximately 200 books relating to the Holocaust, Jewish history, and Anti-Semitism. It also contains books on a range of historic topics, including several works on American immigration.