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HMD 2024 – reflecting on an adverse year

This month we published the Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 Impact Report, which showcases the impact Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2024 had on communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We also reflected on the year’s achievements at a small event with some of our stakeholders earlier this month.

HMD 2024 – reflecting on an adverse year

Image: Piccadilly Lights displayed our 6 million candles campaign for HMD 2024

HMD 2024 Impact Report

2023 saw tragic events, from the abhorrent acts of 7 October and the subsequent appalling loss of life in Gaza, to the resurgence of violence in Sudan. In the UK we have experienced a drastic increase in antisemitism (anti-Jewish hatred) and an upsurge of anti-Muslim hatred. These impacted on HMD and we saw less engagement than in previous years.

Although we faced unprecedented challenges, a wide range of HMD activities were run in workplaces, prisons, museums, schools and other settings, representing the diverse ways in which we mark HMD in the UK.

3,700 organisations marked HMD 2024 compared with more than 4,500 in 2023. Of the HMD 2024 activity organisers we surveyed, 95% said they had taken or planned to take action as a result of marking HMD.

Our Chief Executive, Olivia Marks-Woldman OBE, reflected on the year:

This year, we faced significant challenges, many people -reluctantly or deliberately – disengaged from HMD. We focused efforts on assisting local HMD organisers to deliver appropriate and meaningful HMD events around the country. Despite the challenges, we were pleased that the nation was able to join together to learn from the Holocaust and recent genocides – for a better future.

Read more about the impact of HMD 2024 in our report:

Read the HMD 2024 Impact Report

Making a difference with HMDT event

Martin Stern MBE at our event

Speaking at our event, Making a difference with HMDT, Dr Martin Stern MBE, a survivor of the Holocaust, said:

Commemorating the liberation of the Nazi death camps reminds us that the phrase ‘Never Again’ has been mocked by subsequent history. The human race has huge lessons to learn as current events demonstrate. The task is urgent. Flaws in the human mind make repetition inevitable unless we apply human ingenuity to this problem on a scale resembling that which we have used to solve so many material problems. Annual commemoration of the Holocaust and other genocides is a vital stimulus to this effort.

6 Million Candles

We also screened a short film by St Lukes creative agency who we partnered with this year for our Light the Darkness national moment. This emotive film encapsulates the 6 million candles campaign that we worked on with them to light 6 million digital candles on screens across the nation.

Pearl & Dean

This year we partnered with Pearl and Dean to produce a 60-second advert which features an excerpt from the testimony of Holocaust survivor Mindu Hornick. Our moving advert promoted Holocaust Memorial Day in all Pearl & Dean cinemas ahead of the HMD 2024 UK National Ceremony and was viewed by 500,000 people. If you weren’t able to see it you can view it here.

Attendees also heard from Safet Vukalić BEM, a survivor of the genocide in Bosnia, Tamara Finkelstein CB, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who supports HMD by sharing her family’s experiences during the Holocaust, HMD activity organiser Andy Lawrence MBE, and our Honorary Vice-President Lord Eric Pickles. Each spoke about the importance of marking HMD 2025.

Looking ahead

Holocaust Memorial Day 2025 will mark two significant milestones: 80 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp complex, and the 30th anniversary of the genocide in Bosnia. If you would like to support us to reach even more people during this anniversary year, please consider making a donation.

Donate towards HMD 2025


Photographs from our 'Making a Difference with HMDT' event.