Many of you, like me, are probably starting to receive emails and letters about events connected to Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2018 – either requests to volunteer, or invitations to attend.
This year’s theme is ‘The power of words’: Words can make a difference – both for good and evil.
HMD began in the UK in 2001, and over 7,000 activities now take place across the country on or around 27 January each year in commemoration of the Shoah.
Many of these events are connected to Holocaust educational projects in schools, but they also include events in workplaces, prisons, museums, and of course, a large state event in London to which survivors and dignitaries are invited each year.
This Kitchener project has been asked to provide materials to two HMD events on the south coast of England, in Dover and Deal, which feels very appropriate to our Kitchener context.
To anyone who has offered materials to the website project: if you would be happy to have copies of your documents and / or photographs considered for inclusion in these exhibitions for Holocaust Memorial Day, please would you sign the letter linked to below and email it to us as soon as possible.
We are also being given opportunities to exhibit materials and information about Kitchener by a number of other museums and events, which I will write about further as soon as we have received fuller details, but they include – a nationwide commemoration of the contribution of Jewish refugees to the UK, a temporary exhibition in a national holocaust museum, and, of course, the exhibition we intend to hold for the handover of this archive to an established holocaust educational institution in 2019.
The permission letter below will enable us to put together writing and images that explain the events surrounding Kitchener camp – in the kinds of terms we put forward on this website.
No family should feel under any obligation whatsoever to agree to have their materials in exhibitions if they are not comfortable with the idea.
For those who do like the idea – please could you let me have the permission letter back by 28 December 2017.
The Association of Jewish Refugees
I had a very good meeting on behalf of the Kitchener project this week with the Chief Executive of the Association of Jewish Refugees, which took place in their bright, busy offices in North London.
I have long turned to the journal archives of the AJR when I have needed some information on Holocaust-related subjects – and it is perhaps especially fascinating to look through the early copies of the journal from the postwar period (they are all available online). Intriguingly, I once found a search notice for my dad from this time, although sadly, it didn’t say who had posted it!
Michael Newman, who is the Association’s current CE, recently highlighted that membership of the AJR is open to all Jewish victims of Nazi oppression, but also to the spouses, children, and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and refugees to the UK.
The main purpose of the AJR is the provision of social welfare and care services to Jewish victims of Nazi oppression in the UK, but it also plays a significant role in Holocaust educational projects.
Thus, the AJR supports research and commemorative projects, as well as educational events.
A further significant contribution of the AJR is the archive Refugee Voices, launched at the Wiener Library in 2009, which constitutes a collection of over 150 interviews with refugees from Nazism who now live in the UK.
Apparently a new website format is imminent, but for now, they may be found here: http://www.ajr.org.uk
And for those currently celebrating Hanukkah – Chag sameach!