Next week it is Holocaust Memorial Day, and there are a lot of things going on in and around Brighton to commemorate it. The 27th January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps. The aim of Holocaust Memorial Day is a day for remembering the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and the millions of people killed due to Nazi Persecution, and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosna and Darfur.
The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year is ‘Don’t Stand By’. The Holocaust Memorial Website says “The Holocaust and subsequent genocides took place because the local populations allowed insidious persecution to take root. Whilst some actively supported or facilitated state policies of persecution, the vast majority stood by silently- at best, afraid to speak out; at worst, indifferent. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has said ‘I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented’
The events commemorating the day start this Sunday, with a Vigil at Friends’ Meeting House at 3:30pm. The event is on for an hour, it’s free, and it’s a quiet reflection of remembrance. On Sunday evening, the Sussex Jewish Film Club are putting on a screening of Sarah’s Key. Kristin Scott Thomas plays a journalist who investigates the Velodrome d’Hiver, a round of up of Jews in German occupied Paris in 1942, and reveals the story of one young Jewish girl’s experiences during and after World War 2. There will be a chance for a small donation to the film club, and hot and cold drinks will be available before the film.
For the entire week, the Jubilee Library will be putting on an exhibition of art work by school children. The art work shows the children’s reactions to the horrors of genocide. Tuesday will see a talk and discussion at The Old Courtroom from 2:45pm. It’s a free event, that will include a talk by Bryan Huberman, who’s late father was a Holocaust survivor, and many organisations including the Racial Harassment Forum, Allsorts and the City of Sanctuary.
At the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday there will be a performance of Crystal’s Vardo by Suzanna King. Experience the tale of an ordinary girl on a quest to piece together her ancestry. The event is organised by Friends, Families and Travellers and will cost up to £7. On February 10th, the University of Sussex will host an afternoon of events for Holocaust Memorial Day. This will include a panel discussion, a film screening, testimony from a Holocaust survivor and question and answer sessions. Though this event is free, booking is essential. You can book a seat here.
feature image: Getty