With my fist blog of 2019 I wanted to touch on something that is still strong in many people's minds today and what can happen if we don't stand up to evil in the world. The Holocaust is a sombre reminder of how cruel humans can be to one another and a lesson from history we should never forget.
Back in November, the HSU team combined one of their Operations Meetings (where we get together to talk about key issues and plans for the next month, as well as celebrating the successes of the month behind us) with a visit to the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre which opened last year next to Heritage Quay. Having just commemorated 100 years since the end of World War I, it felt like a good reminder to learn more about World War II and reflect on the horrors that can happen when discrimination and extremism take over society.
Even though our visit was a few months back now, there's a very good reason I'm sharing this today: Sunday 27 January marks Holocaust Memorial Day.
Kirklees is remembering the horrors or World War II in many different ways. There will be a Service of Remembrance outside Dewsbury Town Hall today between 2 - 2:30pm. The Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre will also be open to the public today from 12pm - 4pm, which is that's followed by a series of documentary plays performed by the New Vic Theatre, based on real life stories of Holocaust survivors.
I really urge you to go and visit the exhibition, it tells the stories of sixteen Holocaust survivors who ended up settling in and around Huddersfield. I found it so powerful, both in terms of information and emotion. As children, these survivors witnessed the true horrors of war - from being parted from their families, never to see them again, to experiencing first-hand the concentration camps in which nearly 6.5million Jewish people were murdered during World War II.
The Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre is set up and funded by the Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association, an organisation and registered charity which raises awareness of the survivors' experiences.
The exhibition is free and open to everyone from the University and local community. Working with the University, the Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association is working to create a world-class research and education facility for the whole of the north of England, right here on campus.
You might learn something you never knew about the Holocaust, if you want you can find out about the events they've got coming up here.