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New Year Honours for Holocaust and genocide survivor

A Holocaust survivor and survivor of the genocide in Bosnia who we work closely with, have been recognised in the New Year Honours list.

New Year Honours for Holocaust and genocide survivor

Image: Smajo Bešo, survivor of the genocide in Bosnia, has been recognised in the New Year Honours list

We are delighted that Yvonne Bernstein, a survivor of the Holocaust, and Smajo Beso, a survivor of the genocide in Bosnia, have been recognised for their dedication to Holocaust and genocide education and commemoration. Both work tirelessly to share their testimony with others to ensure that the lessons of genocide are learned by people across the UK.

Yvonne Bernstein MBE was a hidden child in France throughout most of the Holocaust. She was separated from her parents at two years old and put in the care of family, who were forced into hiding. She wasn’t reunited with her parents until six years later when she moved to the UK.

Yvonne has dedicated much of her post-retirement life to Holocaust education and commemoration. She has worked closely with us to raise awareness of Holocaust Memorial Day and regularly speaks about her experiences in schools.

Yvonne has been recognised with an MBE for services to Holocaust education.

Smajo Bešo OBE was born in Bosnia in 1985. His father, and several male relatives, were tortured by Serbian nationalist forces in concentration camps as Bosnian Muslims became targets of genocide. Smajo’s close family relatives were murdered.

In 1994, Smajo and his family arrived in Newcastle as refugees and he has worked tirelessly to promote cross-cultural and inter-faith understanding ever since. He regularly shares his experiences and has played a vital role in organising Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations in the North East.

Smajo has been recognised with an OBE for services to genocide education and commemoration.

HMD 2023

HMD 2023

Join tens of thousands of people across the UK to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January. There are lots of different ways to get involved.

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Learn about genocide

Learn about genocide

Learn more about the Holocaust, Nazi persecution of other groups, and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

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