On 27 January, the day that that Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau, the UK joins countries around the world in remembering the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.
By encouraging us to listen to the experiences of holocaust survivors, the memorial day aims to make us think about our own attitudes and choices.
At Imperial War Museum North, they'll be staging a series of events, including some designed to teach children about the Holocaust. The theme this year is The Legacy of Hope, which is as much about looking forward as looking back. By encouraging us to listen to the experiences of Holocaust survivors, the memorial day aims to make us think about our own attitudes and choices, and increase the hope of creating an inclusive society where the differences between us are respected and accepted.
At Imperial War Museum North the two main events feature a Greater Manchester-based holocaust survivor, Jack, and Primo Levi biographer, Carole Angier.
She'll present a talk on Sunday 24 January called The Legacy of Hope: Primo Levi's Detachment. Starting with Klezmer music by Manchester duo The Deli Babies, Carole will focus on Holocaust survivor Primo Levi's famous memoir, If This is a Man and will reveal how the great calm and containment of the memoir came about, despite the traumatic nature of his wartime experiences.
Then on Monday 25 January at 5.30pm Greater Manchester-based Holocaust survivor, Jack, will present: 'The Legacy of Hope: A Survivor's Story'. Once again the Deli Babies will open the evening, before Jack talks about his experiences during the Holocaust. Born in Poland in 1928, he spent most of the Second World War as a slave labourer in concentration camps in Poland and Germany. When he was liberated in 1945 he came to Britain, but the rest of his family perished during the Holocaust.
The memorial day is about passing on the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations, so there are several activities designed for youngsters. Shaping up with Stories on Saturday 23 January and Saturday 30 January are special sessions about a group of shapes who discover how much better things can be when we all get along. This family friendly storytelling session is followed by a craft activity themed to shapes and patterns, both led by internationally renowned Romany storyteller Richard O'Neill.
These sessions explore the ideas behind The Legacy of Hope in an interactive and accessible way, looking at the effects of treating some people differently just because of how they look, where they come from or how they speak. There's also several displays appropriate to children and adults in the permanent exhibitions.
Holocaust Memorial Day events, Saturday 23 January to Saturday 31 January, Imperial War Museum North. All events are free but booking is required for evening events. north.iwm.org.uk
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