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Cambridge City Council

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the millions of people who died during the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution, and in the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

It is held every year on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

We commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day every year with a civic ceremony on the Sunday closest to 27 January.

2022 commemoration

Voices of Hope and Healing by Michael Rosen: a free community fundraising event on 26 June 2022

  • What: Poetry and song concert
  • Date: Sunday 26 June 2022
  • Time: 4pm to 5.30pm (please arrive at 3.45pm for a 4pm start)
  • Where: Cambridge Corn Exchange, Wheeler Street, Cambridge, CB2 3PQ
  • Cost: Free (no need to book in advance). Voluntary donations will be taken for the Cambridge Refugee Hardship Fund
  • Suitable for children from Key Stage 2 onwards. We suggest that children under the age of nine only attend at the discretion of adults

Voices of Hope and Healing is a free poetry and song concert taking place at 4pm on Sunday 26 June at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge, to mark Refugee Week and Holocaust Memorial Day.

HistoryWorks and Michael Rosen present Voices of Hope and Healing in partnership with DoSoCo Foundation and composer Andrea Cockerton.  ‘Voices of Hope and Healing’ is to mark Refugee Week and Holocaust Memorial Day on behalf of Cambridge City Council. Holocaust Memorial Day is marked each year on 27th January, the date that Auschwitz was liberated, but the annual civic event for 2022 had to be postponed in January due to COVID-19 so it is fitting to commemorate instead during Refugee Week this year.

The event is not ticketed, so there is no need to book in advance. Everyone is invited to come along to show and share empathy and support for refugees and asylum seekers.

Please come along to hear poems performed by Michael Rosen, with many of the poems from Michael's volume of poetry On the Move. Poems about Migration. New songs have also been composed by Andrea Cockerton to Michael Rosen's lyrics, and will be premiered at the event, sung by the DoSoCo Foundation Choir and CAP Singers. There are also performances inspired by primary, secondary and sixth form schools in Cambridge, with more than 3,000 children involved behind the scenes composing poems and songs, dances and dramas to empathize with refugee experiences.

There will be dance and drama performances inspired by Michael Rosen’s words and storytelling about his family who went missing at the end of World War II. The poems and stories reveal Michael’s journey to discover they were murdered at Auschwitz.

These pieces, including new work Tracing, are performed to Michael Rosen's words by Youth Elevation Dance Company with choreography by Helen Garner and music composed by Alex Cook. Further pieces of physical theatre will be performed by the Cambridge Academic Partnership Drama Group with choreography led by Russell Burgees. Michael will use his own words to tell the story of Oscar and Rachel as they were captured by the Nazis, followed by a powerful drama about those who were on the same convoy but who escaped from the train. 

The concert is suitable for children from Key Stage 2 onwards. However, we suggest that children under the age of nine only attend at the discretion of adults in their family to follow-up and guide their children to discuss issues they will hear and learn about during the event. 

For more information about the event or to find out more about Michael Rosen’s poetry and work with local schools, please visit the HistoryWorks community project website.

Donations

Although the event is completely free to attend, attendees who wish to make a donation at the event will be welcome to do so. This year collections will be taken for the Refugee Hardship Fund which is administered by Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum (CECF) Refugee services, supporting refugees, especially newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine, and destitute asylum seekers.

Please visit the CECF website’s donations page to make a donation to the Cambridge Refugee Hardship Fund.

You can find out more about the appeal on the CECF Facebook page.

A text donation service is also in place through Donr and anyone who would like to donate in this way can do so by texting the word REFUGEE to 70560.

Your donation will help provide vital assistance for mobile phone credit, emergency food, toiletries and other necessities for asylum seekers and refugees, including Afghans and Ukrainians as they arrive in Cambridge.