Survivor speakers

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.

Survivor speakers
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 testimonyplaying 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.

We do not recommend inviting survivors to speak in person for HMD 2021. Many survivors are at a higher risk from COVID-19 . Travelling to venues and speaking to groups may not be safe for them.

Some survivors are willing and able to share their testimony virtually through video conferencing software. If you would like to invite a survivor to speak remotely at your HMD event, please contact one of the organisations below.

If you are fortunate enough that a survivor is able to speak at your activity, in person or virtually, please keep the following in mind:

  • Speaking about horrific and painful experiences is traumatic and difficult for most survivors – always be respectful and supportive
  • Make sure that the survivor is comfortable using the video conferencing software you plan on hosting the event with, and that they know the event will be online. You will also need to inform them of the joining details for the event, including passwords
  • 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
  • If your event will feature a Q&A, ensure the questions are submitted to a moderator first before you ask the survivor the question. This is important to filter out any inappropriate or offensive questions
  • 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. For virtual events, you should also instruct participants to mute their microphones to avoid disturbance and interruption.
  • Unfortunately some online events have been targeted by people wishing to cause disruption or offence. Although this is a rare occurrence, we recommend reading the Community Security Trust’s Guidance for secure livestreaming, particularly if your event is public. Use passwords and consider registering attendees in advance to make your event more secure. 

 

The following organisations may be able to help you invite a survivor to speak at your HMD activity: 

 

45 Aid Society – Holocaust Survivors and second generation speakers

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Aegis Trust

E-mail: aegistrust.org

 

Association of Jewish Refugees – Holocaust Survivors and Refugees

E-mail: [email protected] 

 

Generation 2 Generation - children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors

Contact via website: https://www.generation2generation.org.uk/contact-us/

 

Holocaust Educational Trust – Holocaust Survivors

Tel: 020 7222 6822

E-mail: [email protected] 

 

Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association

E-mail: holocaustlearning.org

 

Ishami Foundation - survivors of genocide, including Rwanda and Darfur 

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Manchester Jewish Museum – Holocaust Survivors 

Tel: 0161 834 9879

E-mail: [email protected]

 

National Holocaust Centre and Museum

Tel: 01623 836627

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Remembering Srebrenica

Tel: 0121 454 3343

E-mail: [email protected]