At the Holocaust Educational Trust, we work to ensure that people from every background are educated about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today.

The Holocaust was the murder of approximately six million Jewish men, women and children by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during the Second World War. The Holocaust is often referred to as the Shoah, the Hebrew word for catastrophe.

Antisemitism has existed for centuries and can be traced as far back as Biblical times. When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, they began transforming their antisemitic ideology into dangerous antisemitism legislation. Jews were stripped of their jobs, their possessions, and their citizenship; simply for being Jewish. They were soon forced from their homes and placed in ghettos across Europe. Millions of Jewish people were murdered in purpose built death camps, forests and ravines. They were exposed to horrendous living conditions in concentration camps, where many died as a result of starvation and disease.

When we talk about the mass murder of European Jews, we are not only referring to the loss of millions of lives, but also the disappearance of cultures, communities, languages and traditions. The Holocaust was the most radical escalation and violent expression of antisemitism – hatred or prejudice against Jewish people.

Whilst the term Holocaust refers specifically to the genocide of European Jewry, other groups deemed racially and socially inferior experienced horrific and violent persecution by the Nazis, including Roma and Sinti people, Soviet civilians and prisoners of war, Polish citizens, Black people, people with disabilities, political opponents of the Nazis, Gay men, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, it is important to note that only Jews were targeted for complete eradication on a continental scale. It is important that we recognise the suffering of each victim group in their own terms to properly preserve their memory and understand their history.

We work to make sure that the millions who were murdered in this dark period of history are remembered, and honour those who survived and continue to tell the world of their experiences. Since 1988, the Holocaust Educational Trust has worked with schools, universities and communities around the UK to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust. One of our earliest achievements was ensuring that the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for History, where it remains today. We work in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an Outreach programme for schools, teaching aids and resources. Through our flagship programme, the Lessons from Auschwitz Project, tens of thousands of young people have had the opportunity to see for themselves the site of the former Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. They return inspired and passionate about ensuring that the legacy of the Holocaust continues for generations to come, and having seen where antisemitism can lead they are committed to calling it out wherever it is found.

How the Trust Makes a Difference:

  • Educates thousands of students across the UK
  • Trains and supports hundreds of teachers every year
  • Enables Holocaust survivors to share their personal testimonies
  • Motivates future generations to speak out against intolerance
  • Inspires individuals to consider their responsibilities to their communities
  • Works with Parliament and the media to help spread understanding of the Holocaust