Museums and galleries play their part in Holocaust Memorial Day 2013

By Culture24 Reporter | 23 January 2013

Event preview: Holocaust Memorial Day 2013, various venues

A black and white photo of a male writer in a suit with a beard looking at the camera
Jillian Edelstein's portraits of writer Primo Levi are on display at the Jewish Museum as part of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day© Jillian Edelstein
Remembering the communities who suffered under Nazi persecution and in the later genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, Holocaust Memorial Day officially takes place on January 27 this year, but there’s plenty going on all over the UK across the weekend.

Rwandan genocide survivor Jean Paul Samputu, of the Samputu Forgiveness Campaign, plays songs and recounts his experiences at Edinburgh’s Broughton High School. Holocaust survivor Marianne Lazlo and the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Sello Hatang will also speak.

“It’s vital that we never forget the horrors experienced by so many people both during the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides,” says Donald Wilson, the Lord Provost of the city.

“This event is a special way to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Having the chance to hear from people with first-hand experience of such atrocities will be undoubtedly a very moving and humbling experience.”

Talks will also take place at the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth, where entry is free throughout the weekend, with a service at midday on Sunday.

The Jewish Museum is displaying a series of pictures of writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi.

Jillian Edelstein, the award-winning London-based photographer who took them, has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New York Times. She was commissioned to portray Levi at the Durrants Hotel in London in 1986.
A series of events will be held at the museum, and The Holocaust Gallery tells the story of Leon Greenman, an East End-born Auschwitz survivor who was living with his family in the Netherlands when war began.

Google Cultural Institute

Remembering her grandmother’s experience during the Holocaust, artist Chava Rosenzweig has made a four-metre tall artwork at the Imperial War Museum North. Rosenzweig has crafted the piece from hundreds of porcelain stars, fired in gas kilns. One of the stars bears her grandmother’s identity number from Auschwitz, and the remaining stars – left blank – are intended to evoke the personal memories of visitors.

The IWM has also launched two online exhibitions via the new Google Cultural Institute – essentially, a huge online museum linking artefacts from 42 partners.

Kindertransport presents some of the experiences of the 10,000 Jewish children rescued and sent to Britain on the eve of the war, leaving their families behind.

Letters, objects and paintings feature in The Liberation of Bergen-Belsen, recalling the concentration camp as it was found by British troops in April 1945, saving more than 60,000 prisoners. Both exhibitions will go online from January 25.

Children have created The International Peace Quilt at the Manchester Jewish Museum. Designs from 200 of the world’s 205 countries convey messages of peace on the uplifting installation, and the museum will also host a talk by Holocaust survivor Joanna Millan, who recuperated in nearby Windermere.

“We will be embracing this year’s theme of Building Bridges,” says Max Dunbar, of the museum.

“We will be opening our doors for free on this special day so everyone can hear Joanna’s remarkable story and see the incredibly moving peace quilt, which in itself has built bridges across the world.”

More pictures:

A black and white photo of people preparing food at a concentration camp in 1945
Women inmates prepare food in the open air at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, using the boots of the dead (which can be seen piled up in the background) as fuel for their fires. The camp is at the centre of a new Imperial War Museum online display© IWM North
A black and white photo of a young female artist with dark hair wearing a scarf
UK-based artist Chava Rosenzweig has created the new display marking Holocaust Memorial Day at IWM North© Gwen Jones
A photo of a star-shaped burnt piece of metal with numbers etched into its centre
Chava Rosenzweig, Artist’s Reaction: A Star Shall Stride© IWM North
A photo of various photocard identification documents relating to prisoners of war
Identity cards of people who suffered persecution during the Holocaust, on display at IWM North© IWM North
Transport of Jewish Hungarians arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp (circa June 1944). Old and unfit men, women and children waiting in the pine woods by Gas Chamber V before being gassed
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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