Holocaust Memorial Day 09 - Museum Events Around The UK

By Ed Sexton | 19 January 2009
The HMD logo

Holocaust Memorial Day will take place on January 27 to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945.

Culture24 has picked out a selection of events taking place across the country supporting this years theme of 'Standing up to Hatred.'

Huddersfield Art Gallery

Two Artists, Two Wars, an exhibition taking place at the Huddersfield Art Gallery, features the work of young soldier Mohsen Keiany, who fought in the Iraq-Iran War of 1975-80, and of Robert Perry, who spent 15 years on location at the battlefields and concentration camps of the Second World War producing art.

The artists will be holding two workshops for young people to produce artworks and written explanations to feature in the Kirklees Holocaust Memorial Day at Dewsbury Town Hall on Thursday, January 29.

“The aim is to get young people to remember the past, reflect on the present and, hopefully, react to create a better future,” said Councillor Liz Smaje.

Hosted by the Mayor of Kirklees, the event will start at 7.15pm and is open to everyone. It will feature a guest speaker who survived Auschwitz as well as music, specially written poetry and an act of commemoration.

Imperial War Museum North

Imperial War Museum North is holding a series of events between Saturday, January 24 and Sunday, February 1, including talks, tours, storytelling and musical performances.

Highlights include author and Senior Lecturer in Social History at the University of Bristol, Dr Tim Cole, talking about how the Holocaust affected Jewish children.

Dr Cole used diaries, ghetto, chronicles memoirs and oral history to look at how children adapted to the radical changes going on around them and how they resisted the Nazis.

Younger visitors to the museum will be able to take part in ‘Stand up With Stories’ sessions led by internationally renowned Romany storyteller Richard O’Neill.

Through story, he will explore the effects of discriminating against others because of how they look, where they come from or how they speak. For full listings visit www.iwm.org.uk

picture of a railway line leading to a concentration camp

The Railway and Gates at Auschwitz-Birkenau Courtesy of the Weiner Library

Enniskillen Castle Museum

Holocaust survivor Joanna Millan will be talking to groups about her own story of Holocaust survival at the Enniskillen Castle Museum in Northern Ireland.

The workshops will help visitors to understand how hatred is directed at minorities in our world today and how we can work together to make our communities stronger and safer.

Admission is free but places are limited. Call Catherine Scott on 028 6632 5000 to book.

Robert Cross Hall, Ipswich

In Ipswich, a special exhibition showing the experiences of groups persecuted in the Holocaust will be held at the Robert Cross Hall in the Corn Exchange.

Organisers are planning to create a pile of glasses at the exhibition to commemorate the victims. The exhibition will be open between 10am and 6pm and a reflection will take place between 1 and 1.45pm.

Bridport Arts Centre

A multimedia installation using video sound and text has been created by the daughter of a Holocaust survivor to create a dialogue with her father.

Lorna Brunstein started with a fragment of a handwritten memoir, and the installation also includes a number of paintings from her late father Stanislaw Brunstein painted in the 1940s.

The installation examines elements of the refugee experience and the effect that it had on the second generation by looking at the experience of one family. For more information go to www.bridport-arts.com

picture of a double layered barbed wire fence at a concentration camp

Double fence at Auschwitz-Birkenau Courtesy of the Weiner Library

The Guidhall, Northampton

The famous touring exhibition from the Anne Frank Trust UK will be in Northampton from February 2-26. It includes a reconstruction of Anne’s bedroom in the Annexe and covers the history surrounding the Holocaust as well as the current issues affecting young British people today.

The exhibition will be on at The Great Hall, The Guildhall, Northampton and is coming to the town thanks to the efforts of the Northampton Youth Forum. For more information visit www.northhampton.gov.uk/annefrankfestival

The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Coventrians from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds are invited to take part in the ‘Stand up to Hatred Walk’ on Saturday January 24 and make an active commitment to this years HMD theme.

Walkers will assemble outside the Belgrade Theatre and will leave at 1pm. The walk will culminate in a series of speeches performances and an opportunity for participants to pledge their commitment to ‘Stand up to Hatred’ in the cathedral ruins. For more information go to www.coventry.go.uk/holocaust

In Edinburgh, they mark Holocaust Memorial Day with inspiring candlelit tales from the Jewish tradition, starring storytellers Rachel Smillie and Julie Dawid.

The event will be taking place at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, on Tuesday 27th January 2009, starting at 7pm. Entry is by donation. Call 0131 556 9579 for more information.

a black and white photo of a woman playing a cello

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, 1938, Courtesy of The University of Sussex

University of Sussex, Brighton

An inspiring story of how music helped a Holocaust survivor endure the horrors of Auschwitz will be told as part of the Holocaust Memorial Day at The University of Sussex.

Organised by the University’s centre for German Jewish Studies, the day has been running for seven years. This year, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch will describe her time as a cellist and prisoner at Auschwitz.

Mrs Lasker-Wallfisch was part of the womens’ orchestra who played marches while the slave labourers went about their work and they were expected to play concerts for the SS guards at the camp.

She was just a teenager when she was sent to the camp with her sister in 1944 for trying to escape Germany with forged papers. While she was going through the humiliation of being shaved and tatooed by a fellow prisoner she was recruited into the orchestra, conducted by Alma Rose, a niece of composer Gustav Mahler.

Following the transferral to the equally notorious holding camp at Belsen, the 19-year-old cellist was one of 50,000 sick and starving people liberated by British Troops in 1945.

She rebuilt her life and music career, married and had a family after moving to the UK in 1946. Despite not returning to her native Germany for 50 years, she is proud that the Nazis "destroyed many things, but not music.”

Her story is the subject of a film which shows her return visit to Auschwitz with her daughter in 1996 and is called The Works, Playing to Survive.

There will also be talks from leading academics and campaigners on the wider legacy of the Holocaust, taking place at the Chowen Lecture Theatre in the Medical School. For further details, contact Diana Franklin on 020 8381 4721 or email d.franklin@sussex.ac.uk

For complete listings on all Holocaust Memorial Day 2009 events go to www.hmd.org.uk

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