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06.07.20

Srebrenica Memorial Week 2020

Aerial view of graveyard at Sarajevo

Srebrenica Memorial Week 2020

The Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association is proud to be partners with the University of Huddersfield in the creation of the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre, now established as an important resource for the North of England.

With its exhibition Through Our Eyes, this highly-interactive experience with exhibits, audio-visual content, film and testimony serves to educate visitors about Nazi persecution and the attempted genocide of Jews during the 1930s and 40s known as the Holocaust.  The exhibition lays bare how this was made possible, its relevance to the modern world and the eternal need for vigilance in the face of ethnic and religious prejudice that can take a murderous turn, sometimes on a large and systematic scale.  This was not a trait in humanity that ended with the Allied victory in 1945, and the Srebrenica genocide of 1995 is a tragic reminder of this.  As we Remember Srebrenica we see many parallels with the Holocaust, from the enforced wearing of white armbands by Bosnian Muslims – comparable to the yellow stars that identified Jews in the Third Reich – to ‘murder by bullets’ and mass graves.  The impact of these crimes against humanity continues today as justice, continued denial and human loss is felt by families of people who were murdered.

The annual Holocaust Memorial Day events, held at the University in conjunction with the Centre, have come to encompass genocide and persecution in more recent times, right up to the present day.  Education and historical accuracy are among the most powerful tools that can help prevent these terrible episodes and therefore both the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association and the University of Huddersfield are proud to be associated with Srebrenica Memorial Week, an event of great importance.

“I will never forget meeting the mothers and survivors in Bosnia as part of a delegation – such courage in living with their past and commitment to education reminded me so much of our Jewish survivor community.  It was sad to reflect that yet again people had been murdered for being ‘the other’.  Every action does matter, the acts of kindness, friendship and challenging those actions which seek to divide us.”

Lilian Black, Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association

“In this important anniversary week, we at the University are joining with our partners in the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association to reflect on the theme of ‘Every Action Matters’.  The lessons of Srebrenica and other genocides are that our actions, however small, make a difference – lessons embodied in the work of the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre at our campus.”

Professor Tim Thornton, University of Huddersfield.