Events to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

The University of Leicester hosts a series of free public events this weekend to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday 27 January. This year, Holocaust Memorial Day marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The events are organised by our specialist research centre, the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

On the morning of Friday 24 January, a sequence of short talks will be followed by a candle-light vigil in memory of those who suffered. The speakers assembled are Professor Aubrey Newman on ‘The Holocaust – Could it happen again?’; Dr Martin Stern on ‘Memories of the Holocaust’; Harriet Smailes on ‘Reflections on Auschwitz’; and Richard Gamble on ‘Children of the Holocaust’. This event takes place in the Charles Wilson Building, on the University campus, from 11.00am.

Professor Newman, Honorary Associate Director of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, will also speak at an event at New Walk Museum and Gallery on Sunday 26 January, alongside artists Claire Jackson, George Stougaras and Ruth Schwiening. Visitors will be able to view a collection of artwork exploring themes of the holocaust, war and migration, all on loan from the Wiener Foundation. There will also be traditional Jewish Klezmer music throughout the day from local musician Howard Coleman, as well as appropriate creative activities for adults and children.

Holocaust Memorial Day itself falls on Monday 27 January, when a commemorative event will be held at Fraser Noble Hall on London Road, starting at 7.00pm, jointly organised by the University of Leicester, Leicester City Council and Leicester Council of Faiths. Built around the theme of ‘Standing Together’, the event features a talk by Professor Newman, music from Howard Coleman and pupils of English Martyrs Catholic School, and the presentation of prizes to the winners of the annual Paul Winstone Memorial Competition.

Finally, on Tuesday 28 January the University will host a public lecture by Dan Stone, Professor of Modern History and Director of the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London. Professor Stone has spent the past three years researching the International Tracing Service which was set up after the end of World War II to reunite families. His talk, which will take place in the Ken Edwards Building on the University of Leicester campus, starting at 5.30pm, will cover the work of the Service’s Child Search Branch in the post-war years.

Founded in 1990, the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies conducts research into the Holocaust, its implications and subjects closely related to it, including Jewish history, inter-faith relations, anti-Semitism and racism, fascism and extreme right-wing political movements, crimes against humanity and genocides.