Edinburgh marks Holocaust Memorial Day

A talk reflecting on the aftermath of the Holocaust for refugees and survivors who came to Scotland will form part of a series of events marking Holocaust Memorial Day in Edinburgh.

Dr Hannah Holtshneider, a cultural historian of 20th Century Jewish history at the University of Edinburgh, will deliver ‘How Can Life Go On? The Long Way Home’ at Edinburgh Central Library on Friday. Her discussion will ask what it means to forge a new life following such destruction, and how people live with memories of war and genocide. 

Central Library is also currently holding an exhibition focusing on the creative response to the Holocaust, exploring how suffering can be channelled through art, music and writing. The display, located on the library’s Mezzanine floor, exposes the contribution people of Jewish origin have made to the countries they were displaced to and how these artists, musicians and writers have emerged from their experiences.

Earlier this week on Tuesday 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Harry Bibring addressed S2 pupils at Firrhill High School and 40 members of the local community about his experiences during the Second World War when he was deported to a death camp in Poland. 

After hearing his testimony there was a question and answer session to allow students to better understand the nature of the Holocaust and to explore its lessons in more depth. The visit was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust and is part of their extensive all year round Outreach Programme.

Tonight Drummond Community High School will host an Evening of Remembrance in association with the Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association. Guest speakers will be Umutesi Stewart, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, and Saskia Tepe, the daughter of Holocaust survivor Brigitte Langer. The audience will hear readings, personal reflections and watch musical performances by the students.

Deputy Lord Provost Steve Cardownie, who will attend tonight’s event at Drummond Community High School, said: “For many of us it is easy to forget the fear and suffering lived through by survivors of war and genocide – and those less fortunate - so Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to pause for a moment and give thought to those affected.

“This year we have involved our young people to learn about and commemorate the date, as well as hearing from Dr Holtshneider on the challenges faced by people displaced by war.”

‘How Can Life Go On? The Long Way Home’ will take place at 2pm on Friday, 27 January. Register for a place on Eventbrite.


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