Tuesday, 29 December, 2015

Following the broadcast of the 2015 UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day, which attracted widespread praise for its impact and high quality, the BBC and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust are pleased to announce that the 2016 Ceremony will be broadcast on BBC TWO once again.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 is Don’t stand by, calling on us all to consider our responsibilities not to stand by in the face of discrimination, persecution and, in the worst excesses, genocide.

The ceremony will begin by drawing on the experiences of those who survived the Holocaust – often as a direct result of people who had the courage to intervene – and will explore what a difference one person, who is prepared to take action, can make. It will move forward to contemporary stories, for example, from the African continent drawing on the experiences of survivors from Darfur. The aim will be to provoke the question we all ask of ourselves – when faced with a stark choice where we can make a difference, would we have the courage to resist, or to intervene, or would we walk away? Across the hour the narrative will be enhanced by song and music.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said:

‘On Holocaust Memorial Day hundreds of thousands of people will come together at events across the country to reflect on the ways in which silence and indifference can allow discrimination, persecution and genocide to take place, as well as honouring those who refused to stand by, and who saved people, or took action against prevailing views and beliefs. These events, and the BBC’s broadcast of the national ceremony, are so important in allowing us to learn from the past and take steps to build a better future.’

Phil Dolling, Head of BBC Events, said:

‘I am very proud to be broadcasting this important event marking Holocaust Memorial Day. Last year’s ceremony was one of the most powerful and moving occasions I have ever been involved with and I am sure that the programme in 2016 will be just as poignant and thought-provoking.’

The Ceremony is the UK's national commemoration and is the focal event for over 3,600 local events and activities that take place across the country to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, with people from all walks of life coming together in civic halls, public spaces, libraries, cinemas, workplaces, schools and universities to share the day’s message of equality, respect and understanding. Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated each year on 27 January, and is an opportunity for everybody to reflect on the Holocaust, all forms of Nazi persecution, and the subsequent genocides that took place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is the charity, supported by the UK Government that promotes and supports Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK.