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. 

Each year has a theme, and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust have selected ‘Fragility of Freedom’ as the theme for HMD 2024. During genocides we see how fragile freedom really is. From the victims of regimes who target them, to those who stand up against persecution. HMD 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda – the world stood by as freedoms in Rwanda were shattered (only decades after the horrors of the holocaust). We can all reflect on how freedom is fragile and vulnerable to abuse. As we come together as a campus community, let’s consider what we can do to strengthen freedoms here and around the world.

Local Events and Activities



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

Subsequent Persecutions 

First they Killed my Father (15) - Netflix  
Tree of Peace (18) - Netflix 

For obvious reasons, these films 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.

Fragility of Freedom

The primary purpose of HMD in the UK is to commemorate the victims of Nazi persecution of Jews and other groups and of subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

This year’s theme of ‘Fragility of Freedom’ is, for many of us, all the more poignant in light of recent and ongoing atrocities and war and marking HMD is as important as ever. We encourage everyone in our community to be mindful, sensitive, and respectful during this time and that there is never excuse for harassment or abuse (be it antisemitism, Islamophobia, or any other kind of racism).

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust graphic #LightTheDarkness