The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2016 was 'Don't Stand By'. The National Holocaust Centre and Museum has 20 Partner Schools across the UK and below is a summary of some of their activities to mark HMD.

Garibaldi College, Mansfield

Students from Garibaldi College marked International Holocaust Memorial Day by remembering the names of some of the victims of Nazi persecution. During the day students carried with them the name of one of the estimated six million Jews who had been murdered during the Holocaust. During the period of Nazi government in Germany many Jews had their identity taken away with men being forced to take the name Israel while women had to take the name Sarah, this was just one step in the dehumanisation of the Jewish people. Students across Britain carried out similar acts of remembering an individual in an attempt to, in a small way, rehumanise those who had lost everything to the Nazis. Over the course of the day students engaged in conversations about the people they were remembering and as a result learnt about the varied range of people who made up the Jewish community of Europe.

In addition to remembering those who lost their lives a group of students took part in a large webcast of an eye witnesses testimony. Rudi Oppenheimer was a young boy who was taken from Holland to Bergen-Belsen where his mother and father died of illness. Rudi survived along with his sister and brother, largely due to the fact that his sister Eva had been born in Britain and was therefore a British citizen, the Nazi’s hoped they may be able to exchange the family for imprisoned Germans. This however meant that the family stood a much better chance of survival. Students viewed Rudi Oppenheimer’s story along with around 4,000 students in other schools across Britain making it the largest eye witness testimony ever. The students also had the chance to e-mail their questions to Rudi following his talk. The students who witnessed the account have now been asked to pass the things they learnt onto their peers.