Libraries use the power of words to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

This story was published 2 January 2018

Libraries will use the power of the words in the books in their care to highlight the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January.

holocaust memorial day logo

Holocaust Memorial Day is for everyone to remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust during the Second World War and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

From 22 to 29 January displays of posters, leaflets and books from libraries Filey, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Malton, Northallerton, Pickering, Ripon, Scarborough, Skipton, Selby and Whitby will remind visitors of the importance of the day and of the impact words, whether written or spoken, can have.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “North Yorkshire libraries have been involved in Holocaust Memorial Day for many years. This year the theme is particularly relevant to us. We hope people will look at the displays and the books and be moved to think about the meaning of the day. In the words of Dr Martin Stern, a survivor of the Holocaust, ‘words can strengthen the thin shield of civilisation - or shatter it’. We must consider carefully how we use them - in writing, on social media and face to face.”

Last year, more than 7,700 activities took place across the UK to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, with people coming together in civic halls, public spaces, libraries, cinemas, workplaces, schools and universities.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: “On Holocaust Memorial Day we honour the survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and challenge ourselves to learn important lessons from their experiences in order to create a safer, better future. This year we have an unprecedented number of activities taking place involving people of all ages and from all walks of life, challenging us all to think about what happens after genocide and of our own responsibilities in the wake of such a crime.”

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day and the events taking place, visit hmd.org.uk or follow the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust on Twitter via @HMD_UK and the hashtag #HMD2018.