Due to the covid-19 pandemic, Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 commemorations will be held virtually around the country. Hundreds participate in online event showcasing brand new resources which will enable groups of all kinds to mark the Day.
Mr Burnham was speaking at an online event on Tuesday to launch a range of resources to be used by individuals and organisations to mark HMD 2021 virtually.
Reflecting on the importance of community in dark times, he described 2020 as 'a year of darkness' blighted by the pandemics of covid-19 and hate. He then called for stronger commitment in the fight against 'all forms of hate and discrimination.'
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the commemoration of major public events, HMD 2021 commemorations around the country will be like no other.
We developed these resources to enable people to come together virtually on 27 January to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people murdered under Nazi persecution, and in genocides that followed, in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The resources include Poetry Writing and Film Screening activities while those of a culinary disposition will find the virtual Cook-Along activity to their taste. We hope that these will give people different ways to join with others to learn from genocide – for a better future.
HMDT Head of Outreach, Dr Rachel Century, says it is important to hold meaningful virtual activities against the backdrop of a pandemic:
Our resources are, and have always been, about bringing people together. We are very excited about the opportunities this will bring and look forward to seeing the creative ways that people use our resources to mark the day, to learn about and from the past.
Nearly three hundred people from all over the UK joined the launch, including Holocaust and genocide survivors, religious leaders, politicians, teachers and HMD activity organisers.
One example of being the light in the darkness, she added,
is to tackle prejudice by speaking out against negative stereotype and propaganda which generate hatred against others. A kind word and gesture of friendship to an individual suffering prejudice can shine a light to their dark despair.
Watch a recording of our online resources launch: