HMD 2021 theme

HMD 2021 theme

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.

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75 Memorial Flames map

75 Memorial Flames map

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.

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HMD 2021: Be the light in the darkness

HMD 2021: Be the light in the darkness

Discover the theme

The Holocaust and genocide

Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

The Holocaust

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.

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Nazi Persecution

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.

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Cambodia

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.

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Rwanda

In a violent outpouring in 1994, approximately one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered in just 100 days in the Genocide in Rwanda.

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Bosnia

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.

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Darfur

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.

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Life Stories

The experiences of Holocaust and genocide survivors, as well as those who were murdered, give us a unique insight into the lives of those who have endured persecution.

Explore our collection of Life Stories
Helen Aronson BEM The Holocaust

Helen Aronson BEM

Helen was one of around only 750 people to be liberated from the Łódź Ghetto, out of 250,000 people sent there. Her mother and brother survived with her, but her father was murdered at Chełmno.

Pastor Martin Niemöller The Holocaust

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Martin Niemöller is best known for writing the famous poem First They Came, but he is a complicated figure. Initially an antisemitic Nazi supporter, his views changed when he was imprisoned in a concentration camp for opposing Nazi control of churches.

Baronita Adam Nazi Persecution

Baronita Adam

Baronita Adam is a member of the Roma community. Through a project with the Roma Support Group, she has spoken about the prejudice she has faced in her lifetime, and shared her mother’s memories of being targeted by the Nazis and imprisoned in a concentration camp.