Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, is One Day when people everywhere are encouraged to remember the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust and the genocides that followed.

One Day to learn from the lessons of the past and One Day when we can all hope for a world without discrimination, persecution and genocide.

Survivors of the Holocaust often talk about the One Day when everything changed, sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. To reflect this the national theme for HMD 2022 is One Day.

Arrival and selection at Auschwitz – © Weiner Library

Newcastle’s enlightening and thought-provoking Holocaust Memorial Day Programme is being delivered by local groups, organisations and communities based on their interpretation of the One Day Theme.

Activities to mark HMD includes films, concerts, exhibitions and talks from Holocaust survivors will and continue into February.  One Day’s featured in the programme include Kristallnacht, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the day the Durham Light Infantry helped liberate the concentration camp at Belsen-Bergen. The Civic Centre will also be lit purple on Holocaust Memorial Day.

While some events have been moved to online only due to COVID, a special tree planting ceremony will still go ahead as planned on Holocaust Memorial Day.

Jewish refugee children on Kindertransport – © Weiner Library

80 Trees for 80 Years – From Sapling to Might Oak is a nationwide campaign to mark the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) and Newcastle Civic Centre is one of just 80 locations chosen to host one of the trees that will honour those who survived the Holocaust and remember the millions who perished.

The Oak tree will also provide a lasting recognition of the immense contribution Jewish refugees who fled the Nazis and settled in Newcastle made to the city and show appreciation for the contribution that continues to be made by their descendants and other refugees who have made Newcastle their home after fleeing persecution and genocide.

The tree will be planted by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle in a multi-faith ceremony on Holocaust Memorial Day. The event will be live streamed on the council’s Facebook page to allow as many people as possible to watch.

Shop windows broken after Kristallnacht

Councillor Habib Rahman, Lord Mayor of Newcastle, said “I’m very proud of all the events and exhibitions that are taking place in Newcastle to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and I encourage everyone to participate.

“This year is the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees and I am honoured to be able to plant one of 80 trees that mark that anniversary and to celebrate the contribution Jewish people have made to our city.

“We should never forget the horrible past and, in this Holocaust month, let us remember all those millions of lives lost and let us say never again to any genocide.”

Michael Newman OBE, CEO at AJR said “As well as helping to mark the heritage of our members, the planting of this tree enables the AJR to give back to and create a living legacy within the country that became home to the Jewish refugees.

“Britain’s native oak trees are in decline and new trees are desperately needed. We hope these special trees will be appreciated by future generations and provide natural habitats for other species for many decades to come.”

Full details of the programme, which includes the UK’s only annual event dedicated to celebrating the music and art created by victims of the Holocaust, can be found at newcastle.gov.uk/holocaust-memorial-day-2022.

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