Welcome to the Bristol Holocaust Memorial Day website
Here in Bristol, we normally commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with an annual civic event, held at City Hall on College Green. The event is run by a team of dedicated volunteers, with the help of various supporters, to remember the victims and survivors of genocide.
However, this year is different, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we hope you’ll understand why it isn’t safe to organise a physical event.
If you would like to join our Bristol Holocaust Memorial Day Steering Group to help prepare for our 2022 event, please email us.
How we’re marking HMD 2021
This year’s theme for Holocaust Memorial Day, set by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) is ‘Be the light in the darkness’ – something that feels particularly important after a very difficult year locally, nationally and globally with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of organising and streaming an event as a small team, which would put speakers and organisers at risk, we are encouraging people to join a national online commemoration event organised by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT):
UK Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 ceremony
Wednesday 27 January 2021, 7pm-8pm
Free – register online
You can join conversations on social media throughout the day, using the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness (please capitalise each word in the hashtags, as this helps the screen reader technology used by people with visual impairments).
As part of the live streamed event, people across the UK are encouraged to light a candle in their home at 8pm (if safe to do so – do not leave a burning candle unattended), to ‘light the darkness’. This is in remembrance of victims and survivors of genocides around the world, including the Holocaust, Nazi persecution, and the genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. It is also to stand against prejudice and hatred in today’s world.
Lighting up the darkness in Bristol
At Bristol HMD we are also encouraging local businesses and landmarks to illuminate their buildings with purple lighting after sunset on Wednesday 27 January 2021. This is a simple but effective way of marking Holocaust Memorial Day and being the light in the darkness.
Click here for details of other local events in and around Bristol, in the months ahead.
Why we mark Holocaust Memorial Day in Bristol
Holocaust Memorial Day is a day for education, commemoration and reflection: to think deeply about what happened to countless individuals, and how small actions escalated to acts of organised hate crime and, ultimately, genocide.
We remember all the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, of Nazi persecution, and of subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
We also reflect on what we need to do today, both to keep the memory alive and to build societies that resist this kind of discrimination and all forms of identity-based violence. Here in Bristol, we look at these issues throughout the year, not just in January.
Holocaust Memorial Day falls on 27th January every year, which is the date when the death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated in 1945. The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 is ‘Be the light in the darkness’. Previous themes were ‘Stand Together’ (2020), ‘Torn From Home’ (2019), ‘The Power Of Words’ (2018), ‘How can life go on?’ (2017), and ‘Don’t Stand By’ (2016).
Polly Allen & Ben Royston
Co-Chairs, Bristol HMD Steering Group