The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2024 is Fragility of Freedom, here are some ideas of how you could use this theme in your HMD activity.
Fragility of Freedom is the theme for HMD 2024, image: barbed wire fences at Auschwitz-Birkenau © Chris Jackson / Getty
1. Hold a talk where you discuss the theme ‘Fragility of Freedom’
The Fragility of Freedom theme vision can be used alongside many of our amazing resources to support a talk or discussion. Discussions about the meaning of freedom, how freedom is risked and enjoyed are a fantastic way of engaging students in learning about the Holocaust and more recent genocides in an empathetic and understandable way. One area to consider is those who have risked their freedom; the life stories of Gino Bartali, Louisa Gould, Marie Chantal Uwamahoro and Hasan Nuhanović all speak of individuals who risked their freedoms and lives to help others.
2. Poetry reading
At HMDT, we have a large collection of poetry written by survivors of genocide or about genocide. Hosting a poetry reading is an inspiring way to bring people together to commemorate HMD and can be used both as a stand-alone activity, alongside another activity or as part of a social media campaign. Research poems that reflect on freedom during genocide and consider how you might incorporate these. One example is Refugee Blues by W H Auden, as it reflects upon how it feels to have freedom and home taken away.
3. Film screenings
Films are a brilliant way of engaging in this year’s theme in an accessible way. Many of the films featured in our Film screening and discussion resource explore aspects of the HMD 2024 theme to stimulate thought and discussion. The documentary, The Lost Boys of Sudan, follows two refugees from Darfur as they rebuild their lives in America. This film considers how two liberated individuals are not yet free as they must rebuild their lives from scratch.
4. Host a cooking event
During genocide, those who are persecuted often have the freedom to express their culture restricted. Food is a wonderful way to celebrate the culture of people who were targeted and ensure that their traditions are not forgotten. One way of doing this is to hold a virtual or in-person cooking event. Our recipe cards from different cultures and groups murdered during genocide can be used to learn more about them.
5. Create a campaign
Today, many people take freedom for granted. This HMD you can take action and create a campaign to support a group in your local community who faces prejudice or hatred. Use our Take action resource for ideas of what you can do and let us work together to support and strengthen freedoms around the world.