Record pro­gramme re­flects na­tion­wide sup­port for HMD

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY JOSH JACK­MAN

HOLO­CAUST ME­MO­RIAL Day will be marked at venues from pris­ons to West­min­ster Bridge with a record num­ber of events.

Pre­view­ing this year’s pro­gramme, HMD Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive Olivia Marks-Woldman said com­mu­ni­ties had built on the 3,614 ac­tiv­i­ties ar­ranged in 2015.

Ms Marks-Woldman said that “peo­ple have been re­ally en­er­gised” by the theme of Don’t Stand By, ex­plain­ing that it was cho­sen “so we could learn about peo­ple in the past who tol­er­ated and stood by what was go­ing on”.

Dur­ing the Shoah, many had ben­e­fited “by loot­ing aban­doned homes and so on and al­low­ing hos­tile poli­cies and in­sid­i­ous views to take root”. Yet oth­ers “didn’t stand by, as­sisted and re­sisted, sab­o­taged and were res­cuers.

“Th­ese peo­ple who took some kind of ac­tion were in­cred­i­bly coura­geous. Un­der op­pres­sive regimes such as the Nazis and in sub­se­quent geno­cides, speak­ing out was in­cred­i­bly dan­ger­ous for peo­ple and their fam­i­lies.

“From them, we can learn what we can do to­day not to stand by to in­jus­tice, prej­u­dice or in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tions that have a risk of de­scend­ing into geno­cide.”

HMD projects she high­lighted in­cluded that of Bri­tish artist Clare Twomey, which was prompted by a meet­ing with Bos­nian war sur­vivor Nisad Jakupovic.

At Omarska con­cen­tra­tion camp, where Mr Jakupovic was held, pris­on­ers carved small wooden spoons to drink the soup they were given by their cap­tors.

Last year, Ms Twomey dis­trib­uted mes­sages ask­ing peo­ple what hu­man- ity meant to them. She carved the an­swers — in­clud­ing “com­pas­sion and mind­ful­ness”, “an open mind” and “hope” — into 2,000 spoons, which she will hand out to pedes­tri­ans on West­min­ster Bridge.

I n m a t e s a t P o l mont Young Of­fend­ers In­sti­tu­tion in Falkirk are youth cham­pi­ons for the trust and will mar k H MD with an art­work in­spired by the HMDT’s Flames For Hu­man­ity’s He­roes pro­ject.

Ms Marks-Woldman said the 2016 theme was par­tic­u­larly en­gag­ing the young. “They’re very ex­cited. Our youth cham­pion pro­gramme — which has a board of 12 young peo­ple work­ing with us to en­thuse and en­able their peers — means they are be­com­ing the driv­ers of HMD.

“It’s about young peo­ple not just be­ing on the re­ceiv­ing end of civic events or school as­sem­blies but tak­ing charge and putting on HMD ac­tiv­i­ties for their peers.”

They had staged work­shops, a flash mob and, in the case of a youth cham­pion in Southamp­ton, writ­ten and staged a play at a lo­cal theatre.

She added that it was “re­ally im­por­tant to note that HMD is for the nonJewish com­mu­nity. The model that the trust has fol­lowed is to make it easy for peo­ple in all kinds of or­gan­i­sa­tions — in­clud­ing li­braries, cin­e­mas, mu­se­ums and the emer­gency ser­vices — to mark the day with tai­lor-made re­sources that we pro­vide.”

Young peo­ple are be­com­ingthe driver­sofHMD, puttin­gon ac­tiv­i­ties for their peers

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