Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place every year on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. It is an international day to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution of other groups and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. It is an occasion for everyone to come together to learn, remember and reflect. 

Every year, a theme is selected for HMD and this year it is Ordinary People. Ordinary people were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution of other groups, and in the genocides that took place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Ordinary people were perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses – and ordinary people were victims.

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust graphic #LightTheDarkness

Local Events and Activities

There is a service at Exeter Cathedral.


There are numerous ways you could mark Holocaust Memorial Day. We’ve provided some film suggestions below, but there are also books, podcasts, and even recipes.

Nazi Persecution 

The Book Thief (12A) - Rent on Amazon 

Sarah’s Key (12) - Rent on Amazon 

Denial (12A) - Rent on Amazon 

Another Mother’s Son (12) Rent on Amazon 

The Lending Library's Holocaust Memorial Day selection.

Subsequent Persecutions 

First the Killed my Father (15) - Netflix  

Tree of Peace (18) - Netflix 

For obvious reasons, these film deal with very difficult themes and you should be prepared for that before you start watching. Our advice for watching films like these: 

  • Check the age certificate and parent’s guide (e.g. on IMDB) before you watch it to know how explicit or violent the depictions will be.  
  • Choose a good time to watch it (maybe not before bed) and watch it with other people. Feel able to pause the film if you need to. 
  • After finishing the film, take time to discuss, reflect, and respond.  

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has also provided a film screening guide.