Holocaust Memorial Day


27 January marks Holocaust Memorial Day. This is an annual nationwide commemoration to honour those killed and persecuted during the Nazi led Holocaust of World War II and later genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The Holocaust remains a stain on human history - the government of Nazi Germany orchestrated the persecution and mass murder of 17 million people. Victims were targeted due to their ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation and disability.

6 million Jewish men, women and children were murdered in concentration camps and at sites across Nazi occupied Europe.

A further 11 million victims included Russians, Belarussians, Poles, Ukrainians, Romany gypsies, black and mixed race people; lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people; those with mental and physical disabilities or mental illness; Soviet POWs; Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses and members of the Baha'i faith; Social Democrats, Spanish Republicans, freemasons, communists, trade unionists, capitalists, anarchists, Resistance fighters and others who disagreed with the Nazi regime.

The first Holocaust Memorial Day was held in 2001. The event not only commemorates the victims of Holocaust and genocide worldwide - it also stresses the need to learn from the past, challenging prejudice and hatred to create a safer future based on empathy and respect for all.

We hope that the following resources will help to raise awareness of this important subject and show how you can help to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Please note: Some of this material includes period photography and film of an upsetting nature that may not be suitable for younger children.

Words & Pictures

Click on the links below to view presentations, archive film, music, poetry and the words of Holocaust survivors.

HMD logo

Holocaust Memorial Day: An introduction

Holocaust Memorial Day (UCU)

HMD: How can life go on?


Auschwitz prisoners

Learn about Holocaust and genocide 

What was the Holocaust? ( Imperial War Museum )

Belsen: An End to Murder (Pathe)


Liberation of Auschwitz

Auschwitz (poem, C. Whitaker)

The liberation of Auschwitz (poem)

Refugee Blues ( poem, W H Auden )


 Schindler's List poster

Schindler's List (Main theme)

Violin Cry - Holocaust Tribute



Persecution of Romany gypsies

70 Voices

Stories (Holocaust Learning Centre)

Roma Holocaust (World War II )

Marching into a Death Camp


Sam Pivnik

Sam and Ezra

Born in a concentration camp

Ivor Perl's Story



Useful Websites:

To learn more about the Holocaust, click on the links below for information, advice and research tips.

Holocaust Education Trust

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

Holocaust Exhibition & Learning 

Holocaust Education Trust


British Library

Key documents (National Archives)

Voices of the Holocaust ( British Library )


Holocaust research

Jewish Museum (London)

Holocaust Forgotten 

The Holocaust Explained



School and Children's Resources:

Eva Kor animation

Eva Kor: Survivor (animation)

Classroom materials (Holocaust Education Trust)

HMD Teaching resources (BBC)



Holocaust memorial flame activity

Exploring the Holocaust at Home

Make a Memorial Flame (group activity)

HMD Activities (Secondary level)

(HMD theme: Light in the Darkness) Paper candle craft 


Butterfly project

The Butterfly Project (HMD)

Colouring Butterfly (HMD)

Anne Frank colouring sheet




Share Your Memories:

If you or your families have been impacted by the Holocaust and have memories that you would like to share for posterity, please contact Merton Heritage Service - email: local.studies@merton.gov.uk


Related Material:

For more heritage resources, including material on World War II, visit our History Pages & Activities section.