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. The 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, the programme grew steadily over the ensuing 20 years, with over 35,000 secondary school students attending our workshops. In 2020 we registered as a fully-fledged charity, Holocaust Learning UK. In 2023 we established our Advisory Council, which provides support and advice to HLUK. Members of the Advisory Council comprise leading educators, historians and experts in their fields which are all relevant to the activities of Holocaust Learning UK
As the coronavirus pandemic took hold, it was apparent to us that we could not hold our live events. In order to continue to reach out to secondary school students, in 2020 we embarked on an ambitious project to produce a suite of educational films for showing in the school environment.
Since 2020, more than 500,000 students have been registered to view our films
In our films we provide students with the essential historical facts of the Holocaust, together with memorable personal testimony and an understanding of the Holocaust’s contemporary relevance. Our films are all distinct and each film offers unique and differentiated learning opportunities for students. The films have been made with advice and historical and editorial contributions from Holocaust Educational Trust.
We use young actors to provide a commentary on issues that arise in the films, in order to provide a peer engagement for students.
The films and all supporting resources for teachers are provided at no charge to participating schools.
We are mindful of the fact that in times of trouble, the fight against discrimination and intolerance is ever more important.
At their core, all Holocaust Learning UK films seek to encourage students to learn from the past to help build a better future for all.
* 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.