Talks, films and poetry readings are among the events that will be held in Newcastle on and around Holocaust Memorial Day 2018.

Newcastle will also see visits from Holocaust survivors and their descendants, among them Judge Rinder from ITV’s Judge Rinder and the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

The programme of events will begin on 24th January. Holocaust Memorial Day is on Saturday 27th January and there will also be events on Sunday 28th January.

Newcastle will see art exhibitions, a conference (10 Steps to Genocide), films, lectures, poetry and the Brundibar Arts Festival.

Newcastle’s Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 programme is delivered by voluntary organisations based in the city and supported by Newcastle City Council.

Sunday 28th January will see the launch of an exhibition entitled A Picture, A Life, A Future at the City Library. Special guests will include Arek Hirsch, a Holocaust survivor, and Judge Rinder.

Mr Rinder is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor who was one of 732 Jewish orphans famously given sanctuary by the British government in 1945. Known as ‘The Boys’ (though 80 were girls), they started new lives in Britain, many settling in Windermere in the Lake District. Mr Hirsch was also one of ‘The Boys’.

In 2015, a group of the surviving ‘Boys’, their children and grandchildren began a series of ‘memory quilts’ to commemorate their lives and experiences. These quilts, which are quite fragile, will be on display in the exhibition alongside a series of new quilts created by local schoolchildren.

A Picture, A Life, A Future – organised by the Representative Council for North East Jewry – will run from 28th January to 8th February.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 events will be taking place across the city, at venues such as Newcastle University, North Benwell Youth Project, Tyneside Irish Centre, the City Library, the Kings Hall, the Walbottle Campus, and the Lit and Phil.

The deputy leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Joyce McCarty, said, “The Holocaust was a deplorable act that should never be forgotten. In Newcastle, the local community will be coming together to deliver a programme of events that shows how genocide devastated generations and how we learn from that today.”

“Holocaust Memorial Day uses arts and culture to communicate these difficult and emotional messages, working directly with young people in schools alongside putting on films, music and exhibitions in local venues. I urge people to go to these events.”

To learn more about Holocaust Memorial Day in Newcastle, please go to www.newcastle.gov.uk/hmd. A PDF with a full programme of events can be downloaded from this website.

For more information about the Brundibar Arts Festival, please visit www.brundibarartsfestival.com.

Newcastle’s Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 is supported by Newcastle City Council, the ’45 Aid Society, A Living Tradition, Anne Frank Trust UK, Northern Cultural Projects, Newcastle University, Dandy Events, Curious Arts, LGBT History Project North East, Cavatina Chamber Music Trust, and the Brundibar Arts Festival.

(The featured image shows a ‘memory quilt’ made by Jewish refugees from Poland and their descendants. Image courtesy of the Wiener Library/HMD Trust.)

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