Sunderland to remember victims of the Holocaust

Residents in Sunderland are being invited to join a programme of events to remember the victims of genocides worldwide.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 16 January, 2019, 10:31
Sunderland to mark Holocaust Memorial Day with exhibition.

The city will be holding a number of commemorative events in the lead up to and beyond Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

The international theme for 2019 commemorations is ‘Torn from Home’ and Sunderland Libraries Services has organised a number of events.

Included will be talks and presentations to schools and community groups from Education Co-Ordinator for Newcastle Reform Synagogue, Ruth Heyman, whose family experienced the Jewish Holocaust.

Mrs Heyman said: "Both my mother and my husband's parents came to the UK as refugees from Nazi Germany. They were fortunate in being able to live and work in the relative safety of wartime Britain, something for which they were always grateful.

"My mother hoped that knowledge of the suffering of her family and that of the other Jews of Europe would lead to better, more tolerant world, but this has not proved to be the case.

"As my mother's generation passes on, I feel that it is important to remind present and future generations of the way in which the fear and hatred of a minority group can take root even in an economically advanced country."

There will also be an exhibition 'Children Under the Nazis' curated by Dr Beate Muller of Newcastle University in collaboration with the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation, on display in three public libraries on Wearside.

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First shown publicly in South Africa in June 2017 the exhibition focuses on the lives of different children during Nazi rule, including Jewish children, disabled children, Sinti and Roma, but also German Hitler Youth.

Dr Muller said: "What’s special about this exhibition is that it focuses on war children’s experiences and their recollections from the early post-war period."

The exhibition, on loan from Newcastle University, will be on display at City Library, The Museum and Winter Gardens, from February 11 to 21, Houghton Library from February 25 to March 7, and Washington Town Centre Library from March 11 to March 21.

In addition Dr Muller will also be working with the HumanKind charity at Houghton Library on March 4 with a series of interactive school workshops based on the Holocaust exhibition.

There is also the chance to learn more about Anne Frank at the exhibition being hosted in The Bridges on January 25 and 26 and a commemoration service will be held at Sunderland Minster on Monday, January 28, at 6.30pm. Both organised by Sunderland’s Interfaith Forum.

Spokesman Tony Wortman said: "The forum decided to host these events in light of the decline of the Jewish population and to help keep alive the memory of the six million people who lost their lives in the Holocaust."

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Coun John Kelly, said: "It’s so important that we remember the Holocaust and teach future generations through history about what can happen when tyranny, racism and intolerance go unchecked by ordinary people.

"I’d ask everyone in Sunderland to help us commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and hope the series of events we have organised in our libraries will help raise awareness and understanding of this year’s 'Torn from Home' theme."