Today is internationally recognised as Holocaust Memorial Day, so our Vice President Communities has written some thoughts about this year's theme, Be The Light in the Darkness.
Remembering is not always easy but it is vitally important to prioritise for the progress of our society. 27th January marks Holocaust Memorial Day and the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau which was the largest Nazi death camp. It is a time for us to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust as well as the millions of others killed during the Nazi regime. At the Students’ Union, we want to join with others across the globe in remembering the atrocities of these events and reaffirm the importance of peace and respect. To help us remember the horrific events that took place we have invited a Holocaust survivor to share their story. The event is taking place tomorrow evening, 28th January, and you can find more information here.
This year, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is focusing on the theme ‘Be the Light in the Darkness’, which encourages us all to ‘be the light’ or the positive presence both as individuals and as a community around horrible events such as genocide.
“Be the light in the darkness is an affirmation and a call to action for everyone marking HMD. This theme asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example, resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.
Increasing levels of denial, division and misinformation in today’s world mean we must remain vigilant against hatred and identity-based hostility. Rapid technological developments, a turbulent political climate, and world events beyond our control can leave us feeling helpless and insignificant. The utterly unprecedented times through which we are living currently are showing the very best of which humanity is capable but also - in some of the abuse and conspiracy theories being spread on social media - the much darker side of our world as well.” - Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
At the Students’ Union we want to recognise this day as part of our Antisemitism Awareness Month campaign to advocate for this same theme and encourage all our students to be the light in the darkness and to not forget the atrocities of the past but make sure we learn from them. I believe we all have a moral duty to speak out for what is right and not stand for injustices in our society. In order to be equipped to do so, it is therefore important that we learn from the past as well as learn about current injustices. To find out more about Holocaust Memorial Day and its impact, why not have a look at this video produced by the Holocaust memorial Day Trust; and of course we’d love to see you at tomorrow’s event.
The impact of Holocaust Memorial Day
Students' Union Antisemitism Awareness Month campaign