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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.

2023 commemoration events

Professor Helen Weinstein and the team at HistoryWorks are running a Holocaust Memorial Day education and arts programme on behalf of the council. Many of the pupils involved in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 will be hosting their own assemblies to mark Holocaust Memorial Day this January.

The events listed below are open to everyone.

Thursday 26 January

Please join the Mayor of Cambridge and councillors and staff from Cambridge City Council on the steps of the Guildhall, from 5pm to 5.20pm, on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, for a short ceremony of readings and candle-lighting to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. Professor Helen Weinstein will lead the commemorative event with Holocaust Survivor, Eva Clarke. 

Following on from our Candle Lighting at the Guildhall you are also invited to an additional event. This is the National online event, taking place from 7pm to 8pm. Please register via the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust: Holocaust Memorial Day Trust | HMD 2023 UK Online Commemoration.

Friday 27 January

In Cambridge, we are hoping lots of people will light a candle on the evening of Holocaust Memorial Day itself, from dusk onwards, in their own homes. These candles are suggested to be placed in windows to shine out, and to share photos of the candles on social media using the hashtags #LightTheDarkness #HolocaustMemorialDay.

Sunday 25 June

Cambridge’s public indoor event for Holocaust Commemoration will take place at the Corn Exchange, during Refugee Week. This civic event will run from 4pm to 5.30pm and will feature new poetry and moving song lyrics by Michael Rosen, set to music by composer Andrea Cockerton.

Both Michael and Andrea are working in Cambridge schools with Professor Helen Weinstein on the Holocaust Memorial Day education programme.

This year the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘Ordinary people’, and the theme for Refugee Week 2023 is ‘Compassion’.

The event will involve Cambridge schools and community groups, choirs performing songs, readings, poetry, dance and drama, and featuring the voices of ‘We Are Sound’, with words by Michael Rosen and music by Andrea Cockerton. Some filmed artworks and exhibitions will be on show in the foyer, inspired and interspersed by moving words from refugee experiences and genocide survivor testimonies. 

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