Guidance on how to use images

We encourage you to adhere to the following guidance when considering which images you use on social media and at your Holocaust Memorial Day activities.

  • Consider why you are using images. Do they contribute to the narrative of your event? Know what you want the images to achieve and never use for shock value alone - this is degrading to victims and can cause distress amongst your audience.
  • Do not try to recreate any images from past conflicts, and particularly of victims or survivors. Although empathy is an important aspect of commemoration and remembrance, images such as these are inappropriate. We can never truly recreate the conditions victims found themselves in, and attempts to do so through images or on social media can lead to distortion of the truth and are disrespectful.
  • Avoid unnecessary, repeated or inappropriate images of dead bodies or open mass graves. If you feel that you must use such images ensure that they are used to highlight the destruction of communities.
  • Avoid using images of Holocaust or genocide victims which dehumanise individuals. This includes images of people in distressing situations. 
  • Do not use images which glamorise the Nazis. Particularly avoid images of Nazi flags, uniforms, salutes etc. Ensure that any images are used in the context of highlighting the consequences of Nazi policy.
  • Ensure that images you share come from a trusted source. The increased incidence of “deepfake” images is concerning as these images may be used to distort or deny genocide.
  • Consider your audience. Primary school children often participate in Holocaust Memorial Day events and activities. Do not risk upsetting children or offending their parents. 
  • If you have a speaker, particularly a Holocaust or genocide survivor, discuss with them the images that you are considering using. Try to avoid images that your speaker may find distressing.
  • If you feel that a particular image, while shocking, adds to the desired impact of the event explain clearly why you are using this image and consider issuing a brief warning. 
  • Please pay close attention to the captions for each photograph – it’s important that you tell the whole story behind an image when using it.
  • Please do not edit or crop the images we provide. You must also check the permissions and copyright information of the image before sharing it.  

If you'd like more advice about the suitability of a particular image for your HMD activity then please email [email protected].