Holocaust Educational Trust Ambassador Blog

The History of Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day is held on 27th January every year, and commemorates the 6 million Jewish men, women, and children who were murdered during the Holocaust, those who were persecuted by the Nazis and those killed in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

This annual, internationally recognised commemoration was established by the United Nationals General Assembly, designated by Resolution 60/7, with the aim to “mobilise civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.” The resolution also urges, member states to develop educational programmes to educate future generations on the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide.

In the UK, the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day this year was “Ordinary People”. The Holocaust did not start with the gas chambers, but rather with the spread of hatred and bigotry and was able to develop due to ordinary people either engaging with or turning a blind eye to what was going on around them. This resulted in the persecution of innocent, ordinary people Ultimately the perpetrators, bystanders, victims rescuers, witnesses, and survivors were and are ordinary people.

We are proud to write this article as two ordinary people who took part in the Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz Project and became Ambassadors.

Remembering those who were murdered and hearing the first-hand testimony of those that survived is the reason that so many of us mark Holocaust Memorial Day, whether we took part in the project a year or ten years ago, the importance remains the same. On Holocaust Memorial Day we pause to remember the victims and honour the survivors as the individual, ordinary people they were and are.

By Holly Edgar and Mihika Chopra