Holocaust Memorial Day
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Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January is to commemorate and remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the millions of people killed under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and also the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia, resulting in the deaths of some 100,000 people (80 percent of them Bosniak).

The theme for 2020 is Stand Together which explores the deliberate division and fragmentation that genocidal regimes throughout history have forced on certain groups. With increasing division in communities around the world this theme highlights the importance of standing together and speaking out against oppression in order to stop division and the spread of hatred in our society.

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Today's events


What is the Shoah? Shoah is the Hebrew word for “catastrophe”. This term specifically means the killing of nearly six million Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during the Second World War. The English-speaking countries more commonly use the word Holocaust, which is Greek for "sacrifice by fire".

Our Student Jewish Society will be putting on a Yad Vashem museum quality exhibition in the Students Union small room titled 'Shoah – How Was It Humanly Possible?' 

This exhibition was designed to promote dialogue about the Holocaust and deals with major historical aspects of the Holocaust, beginning with Jewish life in pre-Holocaust Europe and ending with the liberation of Nazi concentration and extermination camps across the continent and the remarkable return to life of the survivors. The panels feature explanatory texts, interspersed with personal stories of the victims, quotes, original photographs and images of relevant artifacts. 

The Bosnian War and Srebrenica Genocide

In 1991, Yugoslavia began to break up along ethnic lines. When the republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia) declared independence in 1992 the region quickly became the central theater of fighting.

The Serbs targeted Bosniak and Croatian civilians in a campaign of ethnic cleansing. The war in Bosnia claimed the lives of an estimated 100,000 people and displaced more than two million.

The height of the killing took place in July 1995 when 8,000 Bosniaks were killed in what became known as the Srebrenica genocide, the largest massacre in Europe after the Holocaust.

The award winning photojournalist, Ron Haviv spent several years in Bosnia documenting the war. He was outside Srebrenica as the survivors left the enclave in 1995. He returns 18 years later to complete the story in Remembrance (view on Vimeo).

The Rwandan Genocide

The Rwandan genocide took place in 1994, during the Rwandan Civil War when peace accords were ended due to the assassination of the Rwandan president. 

Members of the Hutu ethnic majority murdered as many as 800,000 people targeting members of the monitory Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin. The scale and brutality of the massacre caused shock worldwide as ordinary citizens were incited by local officials and the Hutu Power government to take up arms against their neighbours. 

By the time the Tutsi-led Rwandese Patriotic Front gained control of the country in early July, hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were dead and 2 million refugees, mainly Hutus, fled Rwanda, intensifying the already full-blown humanitarian crisis.

Watch more about these 100 days of genocide in Rwanda on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust YouTube.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 Prayer

On Holocaust Memorial Day in January, we will remember those murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in more recent genocides, as well as challenging people to stand together to create a safer, more respectful world today.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Senior Imam Qari Asim unite to write a new prayer for HMD 2020.

A prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020