The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 is Be the light in the darkness. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.
Hundreds of groups from across the UK took part in our 75 Memorial Flames project to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Explore our 75 Memorial Flames map to see the artworks and learn more about the groups.
HMDT staff share books and articles by black and mixed-race voices that they have been reading. With topics including the history of the British Empire and personal testimony of anti-black racism, this selection of writing offers opportunities to better understand the experiences of black people.
HMD 2021: Be the light in the darknessDiscover the theme
Between 1941 and 1945, six million Jewish men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. Their attempt to murder all the Jews in Europe, shook the foundations of civilisation.
The Nazis targeted anyone they believed threatened their ideal of a ‘pure Aryan race’, including Roma and Sinti people, disabled people, gay people, political opponents and others.
From 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, imposed an extremist programme to reconstruct Cambodia. Millions of people died through starvation, disease and exhaustion, and thousands were executed.
In a violent outpouring in 1994, approximately one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered in just 100 days in the Genocide in Rwanda.
In July 1995, against the backdrop of an ongoing civil war, Bosnian Serb forces led by Ratko Mladić murdered around 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the town of Srebrenica.
In 2003 a civil war began in the region of Darfur. Arab militia, known as the Janjaweed attacked black African people, destroying entire villages, murdering civilians and displacing many more.