Holocaust Memorial Day: 27 January

On this day the world remembers the Holocaust, when millions of people killed in the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. The date marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

This year, the theme for the day is journeys.

Whittingehame House

Whittingehame (also Whittinghame) House

From 22–27 January, we’d like to invite you to discover more about the Holocaust and related local stories, including the use of Whittingehame house as a haven for Jewish refugees during the Second World War, through displays in the library and Local History Centre. The library will also have a range of books and resources available to borrow on the subject. We will be asking visitors to pledge to ‘Take a Step’ to work towards a safer, better future for everyone, either by adding a luggage tag to our memory suitcase, or by signing up to the online charter on the Holocaust Memorial Day website.

Kindertransport boys farming

Kindertransport boys farming

On the day itself, local primary and secondary school pupils will also have the chance to meet Stephen Brent, a local resident, who escaped Nazi Germany as a young Jewish boy on the Kindertransport. The Kindertransport was a rescue mission that took place during the nine months prior to the outbreak of World War Two. The United Kingdom took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig. The children were placed in foster homes, hostels, schools and farms across Britain. This is Stephen’s first time sharing his moving story with a school group. Pupils will capture details about the meeting for future generations which will be shared here on the John Gray Centre website.

Find out more about the Holocaust and the children who came to East Lothian as part of the Kindertransport at the links below:

Kindertransport in East Lothian

The story of Stephan Brent, local Kindertransportee

Holocaust memorial day website: activities

Holocaust memorial day website: the Holocaust

US Holocaust memorial day website




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