Holocaust Memorial Day

27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year.

It’s a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.  On HMD we can honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today.

 On Wednesday 29 January, the Durham Unite Community Support Centre will be displaying a range of information about the Holocaust and other genocides, which anyone is invited to come along and see.  We will also be holding a short ceromony by lighting a candle and having a reading of the famous statement by Pastor Martin Niemöller, “first they came for the…” which is at the bottom of this post (along with the signature of Pastor Niemöller taken from a copy of the bible he signed on 7th May 1963) – please also see a copy of our Press Release for details of this ceremony.

 The relevance of remembering the holocaust to the trade union movement couldn’t be clearer.  On the 2nd May 1933, less than 5 months after taking power, the dissolution of the German Trade unions began – more details here

 The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website has a range of stories from survivors of the holocaust.  If you click here it will take you to the story of Esther Brunstein, the daughter of Jewish Socialists who were active in the trade union movement.


Click here for the full range of media, including films, podcasts and photographs which is available form the Trust website.  A number of short films, including survivivors own stories of their experiences, are also available on this page.

 As well as the Nazi Holocaust, there have been a number of other genocides including in Darfur, Rwanda, Bosnia and Cambodia.  Further details about these can be found on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Website

 Please take a few moments to reflect on the stories contained in the links, and please feel free to join us on the 29th January in helping ensure that the millions of victims of the holocaust and genocides are not forgotten.

 First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Niemöller signature


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