The Holocaust and genocides that have happened since have caused millions of people to flee as refugees. Watch the film we released for World Refugee Day to learn about their experiences.
HMDT Honorary President Sir Ben Helfgott grew up in Poland. He spent his formative years as a slave labourer, in a ghetto, and in several concentration camps. This educational life story describes Ben's experiences during the war, and his remarkable life after settling in the UK as a 15 year old.
Var was working as an English teacher in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, and her husband was working for UNESCO in Paris, when the Khmer Rouge took control of the city.
Forced out of his home by the Khmer Rouge on 17 April 1975, Sokphal endured hard labour in the Killing Fields and eventually survived the Genocide in Cambodia by escaping to Thai refugee camps where he lived for seven years.
When ‘ethnic cleansing’ began in his neighbourhood, Safet narrowly avoided being sent to concentration camps with his father and older brother. Safet describes the fear he felt for his family, but the comfort that he had in the support and help from others.
Dr Martin Stern MBE was five years old when he was taken to a concentration camp. In this film, Martin is asked questions about his experiences by members of the HMDT Youth programmes and HMD Youth Board.
Vera Schaufeld MBE, formerly Vera Lowyova, was saved by a man who refused to stand by, Sir Nicholas Winton. She was born in Prague in 1930. In May 1939, following the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, Vera was told that she must move to England on her own. She was only nine years old.
The following testimony was written by Jean Baptiste Kayigamba, a survivor of the Genocide in Rwanda. Please note that the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of HMDT.
Alison Flanagan Wood is Arts Development Officer for Newcastle City Council Arts Team, who provided grants for more than eight community/voluntary groups across Newcastle to organise Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) activities. These included exhibitions, film screenings, a play, lectures and a music and arts festival.
Mark Woodward is an English Teacher at Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio, a Secondary School in Blackburn. His students marked HMD 2019 by completing the Postcard Project and writing poems based on the theme: Torn from home, which they read out in assemblies.