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How can your students' union commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day?

By NUS News

Tuesday 23 January 2018 NUS News

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year. It’s a time for everyone to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. Find out more here how you can also commemorate the day with us.

On Holocaust Memorial Day we honor the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today. On Holocaust Memorial Day we remember the victims and honor the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experiences to inform our lives today. The reason behind the date is that the 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945, the largest Nazi death camp, with approximately 1.5 million murdered there. 

Holocaust Memorial Day is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and recognize that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism, and hatred are not checked and prevented.

Although we are fortunate to not face such atrocities in the UK today, discrimination has in no way ended, nor has the language of discrimination, abuse, and exclusion. There is still so much work to do in order to create a safer and more open society and Holocaust Memorial Day is an important way in which we can start the process.

Izzy Lenga, NUS Vice President (Welfare) has put together a number of resources for your students' union to use on Holocaust Memorial Day, as part of the #OurLivingMemory campaign – a joint campaign with UJS (Union of Jewish student) and HET (Holocaust Educational Trust These include a guide on how to get your University or students' union to be involved and pay their respects and also a series of memorial resources including poems, prayers, testimonies of survivors and suggestions of films to screen.

 NUS and Izzy Lenga, NUS Vice President (Welfare,) are also proud to be working with UJS- the Union of Jewish Students- and HET- the Holocaust Educational Trust- on Our Living Memory Campaign, a campaign that aims to assist students' unions and societies in hosting commemorative events for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018.

The #OurLivingMemory campaign draws attention to the reality of the past, how as students and unions we cannot forget but learn and can grow from the past and o embrace our responsibility as student leaders to ensure the messages of the Holocaust are never forgotten. Alongside these resources, we will be sharing videos made by student leaders on what commemorating the Holocaust means to them. You can find ones by Shakira Martin, NUS President, and Robbie Young, NUS Vice President (Society and Citizenship) online too. 

Keep us updated on how you are commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day this year. Make sure your union is joining in on the conversation by using the #HMD18 and #OurLivingMemory hashtags. 


You can find out more about why getting involved in the Our Living Memory campaign is important here and learn more about the background of Holocaust Memorial Day at www.hmd.org.uk.