Holocaust Memorial Day will be marked in Manchester by a film event (25 Jan) involving a Holocaust survivor, students from secondary schools across the city, community representatives and city leaders
The event at the Cornerhouse, Manchester's international centre for contemporary visual arts and film, has been organised by Manchester City Council in association with the UK Jewish Film Festival.
The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Glynn Evans, who will open the event, said: "Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for everyone to commemorate the remarkable resilience of the human spirit in the face of immense adversity and to share the message of peace, respect and tolerance for other members of the community."
Two short films portraying the horror of the Holocaust are to be shown to the students to ensure the lessons learnt are still relevant to today's young people.
The films will be introduced by Michael Etherton, producer of the UK Jewish Film Festival.
Silence is an imaginative animated film that captures the haunting, surreal world of a child who survived Theresienstadt concentration camp thanks to her resourceful grandmother.
Pigeons is based on a true World War Two story and recounts a rare and startling act of kindness and courage.
Michael Etherton said: "Through our education work, the UK Jewish Film Festival is introducing students and adults to the terrible realities of the Holocaust, via the testimony of survivors like Steven Frank and films that reflect and describe their experiences.
"In doing so, the festival hopes that this knowledge will help new generations to prevent genocides and create a better future for us all."
After the films, Holocaust survivor Steven Frank - who spent time in Theresienstadt - will present artifacts that he brought from the camp and then answer questions.
Steven Frank was born in Holland and was sent to Theresienstadt in September 1944.
The camp was portrayed by the Nazis as The Model Camp due to the thriving artistic life permitted there amidst the death and destruction - but the high death rate and ill-treatment of the inmates that came to light after the liberation dispels this myth as propaganda.
The majority of surviving inmates were subsequently transported east to the gas chambers at Auschwitz. By the end of the war, Steven had lost his father and numerous relatives in the gas chambers. He emigrated to the UK.
During the event, seven Statements of Commitment will be read out by representatives of Manchester's diverse community, including refugees, disabled people, lesbian & gay and older people, and a representative of the Jewish Community.
Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag will close the event with a reading of the Memorial Prayer.
- Another event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day will be held at Crumpsall Library on Thursday 31 January at 2pm. Jewish Refugees in Manchester, 1938-1945 , will be the subject of a talk by historian Bill Williams about the desperate flight from tyranny and mass murder during the Second World War.
Martin Hellewell, tel: 0161 234 3729