The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2021 is ‘Be the Light in the Darkness’. In the secondary classroom, teachers may wish to consider framing their HMD discussions around the themes of resistance and rescue during the Holocaust and of post-war justice.

Teaching Resources

The Holocaust Educational Trust believes that meaningful commemoration of the Holocaust is based on a sound understanding of the events. We therefore encourage secondary school teachers to use our Teaching Resources to support and deepen their students' understanding of the topic. Our teaching resources include Exploring the Holocaust, our flagship resource which offers a free, comprehensive and flexible cross-curricular scheme of work for the teaching of the Holocaust at Key Stage 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at S2 in Scotland.

Our Exploring the Holocaust resource includes three lessons which are particularly relevant to the theme ‘Be the Light in the Darkness’. These focus on ideas of resistance, rescue and justice after the Holocaust.

  • Our Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust resource examines the actions of individuals who, in a variety of ways, tried to resist their persecution. A focus on resistance challenges inaccurate but still prevalent stereotypes of Jewish people as passive victims during the Holocaust.
  • Our Rescue during the Holocaust resource provides opportunities to discuss the courageous minority of non-Jews who assisted or showed solidarity with the victims of Nazism. This encourages students to consider the complex range of factors which motivated rescuers, and the risks which they faced.
  • Our Justice after the Holocaust resource encourages students to consider the post-war treatment of perpetrators as well as the many complexities of morality associated with justice. The resource raises questions about whether justice was served, and – indeed – whether it could ever have been served, given the scale and nature of the crime. These are questions we are still asking today.

We have also created three brand new resources for HMD 2021. These resources discuss further examples of Jewish resistance and rescue and include suggested activities which can be completed in tutor time during HMD. Alternatively, and beyond HMD, the resources can also be incorporated into the lessons featured in our Exploring the Holocaust scheme of work, giving your students further examples to support their learning about these important aspects of the Holocaust.

HMD Readings

Additionally, we have curated a collection of HMD readings. These can be shared during an HMD commemoration or assembly. Each reading is accompanied by questions to raise with your students. The readings are available as a downloadable pdf or as a PowerPoint presentation.

Live Survivor Webcast

Ahead of HMD, on Tuesday 26th January at 10am we are hosting our annual webcast. This is an incredible opportunity for students across the UK to come together to listen to a survivor sharing their testimony. Students will be able to ask the survivor questions about their experiences during the Holocaust as part of the live event. To join us for our webcast, please register here.

Teacher Training

We welcome registration from secondary school teachers of any subject for all of our teacher training events. Details of our teacher training programme can be found here or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.