Listening to a survivor of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution or subsequent genocide share their testimony is a hugely powerful experience, and participants at HMD events are likely to have a profound reaction to hearing it.
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) does not arrange for speakers to attend local Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) activities, but we do have a list of organisations that might be able to help. Get in touch with the organisations below if you would like to invite a survivor to your activity or commemoration.
With thousands of activities taking place for HMD each year, it is impossible for every event to invite a survivor to share their experiences in person. To include survivor experiences in your activity, you could consider reading a testimony, playing a podcast or showing a film of a survivor speaking. You can use all HMDT resources without permission, but you must seek authority to show other films or play music.
If you are fortunate enough that a survivor is able to speak at your activity, please keep the following in mind:
- Speaking about horrific and painful experiences is traumatic and difficult for most survivors – always be respectful and supportive
- Talk to the survivor speaker in advance about the format of the event and what you would like them to do. Bear in mind that many survivors are used to telling their story in great detail, from beginning to end. Agree in advance how long their speech at your event will be
- Make sure your audience is of an appropriate age. Some survivors are not prepared to tell their life story to young children and it might not always be appropriate for your audience
- Explain to the survivor the programme for the rest of your event, and check they are happy to participate alongside any other speakers, performers and activities
- Ensure your audience is fully prepared to listen to the survivor tell their story. It is crucial that they listen attentively and respectfully
The following organisations may be able to help you invite a survivor to speak at your HMD activity:
020 7222 6822
0161 834 9879