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Holocaust Memorial Day

20 January 2015

UCU commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), observed annually on 27 January. It does so in memory of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust and the millions of people killed by Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur and Rwanda, and in order to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 is Fragility of Freedom. It reminds us that freedom means different things to different people, and that persecuted groups often have their freedoms restricted and removed before they are murdered. In every genocide there are also those who risk their own freedoms to help others facing persecution.

Visit the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website for further information and ideas for how to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 in your branch. You can also find a range of resources below which can help to support local events and activity on this topic.

UCU films to commemorate the Holocaust

UCU Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration (2013)

Our award-winning film, produced to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2013, provides personal testimonials of the Holocaust.

The film was accompanied by a short publication of testimonials by UCU members and others who survived genocides in Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur and Rwanda

Holocaust Memorial Day: UCU member testimonials [2mb]

Journeys to Safety: Memories of the Kindertransport (2014)

A short UCU film produced to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2014. Prior to World War II, many children made journeys through Europe to escape the Nazis and the growing wave of anti-Semitism. The memories of those who travelled to safety as part of the Kindertransport programme are shared. The film also marks the 75th Anniversary of the Kindertransport programme (1938 - 2013).

How can life go on - Holocaust Memorial Day (2017)

Our short film for Holocaust Memorial Day 2017 provides a moving testimony by John Fieldsend, a Kindertransport child, reading the final letter, he and his brother received from his parents, after the war had ended.

Other available resources

The Paths to Genocide

Download the 10 Stages to Genocide here   10 Stages to Genocide [459kb]

UCU anti-semitism leaflet

UCU is committed to combating anti-semitism. It has produced a leaflet which has been revised in January 2015 on the subject for branches to use, which you can download below, or request a hard copy from

UCU - challenging anti-semitism leaflet [67kb]

Holocaust Memorial Day offers an opportunity for reflection on past atrocities and the chance to come together to create a safer, better future. By focusing on memory, the theme will also enable us to challenge those who seek to deny the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

Bosnian genocide

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Bosnian genocide (1995-2015), we produced a short publication outlining the events that led to the murder of around 8,000 men and boys. The single largest mass murder in Europe since 1945: Keep the memory alive: UCU commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Bosnian genocide [2mb]

Remembering Rwanda

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan genocide (1994-2014), we produced a short publication outlining the events that led to the slaughter of an estimated 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus over a period of 100 days from 7 April to 16 July 1994. The testimonial of Jean Bosco Ngabonzima delivered to UCU members in 2011 has also be reproduced. 

Remembering Rwanda: UCU Holocaust Memorial Day 2014 [187kb]

Reading/viewing materials

Holocaust Memorial Day suggested reading [214kb]

Holocaust Memorial Day wallchart

Holocaust Memorial Day wallchart The UCU Holocaust Memorial Day wallchart has been brought up to date and includes new sections about the recent fight against fascist organisations like the BNP and EDL. This resource can be used in your institution to educate against the dangers of anti-Semitism, fascism and racial discrimination. 

Holocaust Wall Chart [1mb]

Links to external organisations

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust   
Holocaust Educational Trust       
The Wiener Library           
The Jewish Museum           
The Holocaust Centre       
SURF Survivors Fund       

Last updated: 12 January 2024