In 2001, Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January) was designated as an international day of commemoration: a day to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi Persecution and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.*
In response to the newly launched Holocaust Memorial Day, two synagogues in Northwood, north-west London, joined together to create educational events for local secondary school students. Known then as Northwood Holocaust Memorial Day Events, our aim was to enable students to hear first-hand the testimonies of those who had survived the Holocaust, and from this to gain an understanding of the need to resist all forms of racism, discrimination and bullying in order to build a better, safer future for us all.
From a handful of local schools attending, Northwood Holocaust Memorial Day Events grew steadily over the ensuing 21 years, with over 35,000 secondary school students attending our events over this period.
Encouraged by the hugely positive response from teachers and students alike to our events, we sought charitable status. By Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, we had metamorphosed into a fully-fledged charity, Holocaust Learning UK.
As the coronavirus pandemic took hold, it was apparent to us that we could not hold our live events. We looked for ways to continue to bring an understanding of the Holocaust to young people, mindful of the fact that in times of trouble, the fight against discrimination and intolerance is ever more important.
In response to this, our suite of films was born.
The Out of the Darkness films are all distinct and each film offers unique and differentiated learning opportunities for students (please click on each film above to read more). The films have been made with the advice and historical and editorial contribution from Holocaust Educational Trust. At their core, all Holocaust Learning UK films seek to encourage students to learn the lessons from the past to help build a better, safer future for everyone.
The films and all supporting resources for teachers are provided at no charge to all schools.
*For an understanding of the international effort to create a memorial day to the Holocaust via the Stockholm Convention of 2000, and the subsequent Statement of Commitment, click here >