Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 – Don’t Stand By

The Grimsby Institute recently commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day with two events for staff, learners and members of the community that included survivor stories from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, a performance by Level 2 Performing Arts learners and a prayer for those lost from Leo Solomon MBE.

Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated on 27th January every year, this is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a series of concentration and extermination camps in Polish areas occupied by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Regime and their collaborators during the Second World War. The term Holocaust was the name given to the mass-genocide of approximately 6million Jews and 5million non-Jewish who became innocent victims during this time.

The events were hosted by Chloe Hallam, one of Grimsby Institute’s Learner Mentors, who talked about the Holocaust and it’s relevance today with recent genocides in Rwanda, Darfur, Cambodia and Bosnia. Chloe said: “It is hugely important that students continue to learn about the Holocaust. It is scarcely taught in some schools and some of the learners here have told me that they have never learnt about it before.

“Some of the students realised their grandparents were in the Second World War. The theme this year of ‘Don’t Stand By’ ties in with the idea that radicalisation is not a new thing.”

Level 2 Performing Arts learners performed excerpts from David Wrightam’s well-regarded play, Holocaust – The Schoenberg Story, and Leo Solomon MBE, leader of the Jewish community in Grimsby, gave a traditional prayer in both English & Hebrew.

Leo said: “I think it is hugely important that young people learn about the Holocaust. The message this year is ‘Don’t Stand By’ and we want to tell the students that if they see anything unjust, we need to do something about it. In everyday life we have to be aware that it is quite wrong to just do nothing about it because that’s what has led to so many problems in the past.”

Liam Good, 19, Level 2 Performing Arts student, played the part of Efrem in excerpts from Holocaust – The Schoenberg Story, which focuses on the life of a Jewish family caught up in the Holocaust. Liam said:

“It was interesting to perform because we really had to imagine what it would have been like to be around at that time and I have definitely learned a lot from it.”