A time to reflect: Manchester pupils set for special Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration

By Alex Lanigan

The scale of the atrocity and the staggering numbers are sometimes difficult to comprehend.

When people say that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust then we know it is an incredible amount but the sheer size of the genocide can often be lost.

To put it into perspective, if you were to kill EVERY person in Greater Manchester TWICE then you would still be 800,000 people short of the Nazi atrocities.

The Holocaust is, arguably, the worst crime against humanity in history and Manchester’s youngsters are being given the chance to learn about the desperate journeys made by Jewish families to escape Nazi death camps.

High school pupils will be attending a special event on January 27 at the Cornerhouse to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.  

Councillor Sue Murphy, deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, believes it is crucial that young people are educated on what took place in Nazi Germany.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is a time to remember the victims of the Holocaust and other atrocities,” she said.

“Their lives and experiences should never be forgotten and it is important that we share this history with young people today to teach a message of peace.”

The special event has been organised by Manchester City Council and the UK Jewish Film Festival for an invited audience of school children and community groups

The event will include the documentary ’No Place on Earth’, which focuses on the lives of the Jewish people forced to seek refuge in Ukrainian caves in order to escape persecution, and will be introduced by The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Naeem ul Hassan.

The event will have Paul Laiken, producer of ‘No Place on Earth’ as its guest speaker, and he will talk about his experiences making the documentary and the memories of some of the survivors who were forced to live in the Ukrainian caves.

July Ironside, Founder and Director of the UK Jewish Film Festival, has stressed the importance of creating a legacy that teaches young people about respect and tolerance.

“As time goes on there are fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors to talk about their experiences – so it’s even more vital that we have a legacy that teaches the next generation about respect and tolerance,” she said.

On January 26, Manchester Jewish Museum has an afternoon of events which illustrate the theme of journeys through performances, talks and readings about the child refugees who fled their homes – and countries – to Britain on boats and trains known as Kindertransport.

In addition, the museum will have a new exhibition ‘Encounters with the Holocaust’ showcasing Manchester artist Gary Spice’s response to the Holocaust and its aftermath.

The museum event is free and open to the public, though booking is advised. For further information log on to or call 0161 834 9879. 

Image courtesy of C Puisney , with thanks

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