Holocaust Memorial Day 2017: how can life go on?

Wednesday 25-01-2017 - 17:40

Each year on 27 January, people all across the world mark Holocaust Memorial Day to pay remembrance to the millions who lost their lives in the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) has taken place since 2001 and this marks the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau as well as the 22nd anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia.

HMD is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.

“At NUS we are continuing to do lots of work around how we, the student movement, can work together and within our communities and make it clear that there is no place for hate, not in our education and not in our wider society. Please take Friday as a day to remember and pay respect to the many people that were lost, whilst taking the opportunity to consider how we, as a movement can oppose racism, fascism and oppression in all its forms.

We are in uncertain and challenging times, but together we are stronger. I look forward to working with you to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and towards creating a liberated education, accessible for all, because for us, as students, that is one way that we can ensure that life can go on.”

- Malia Bouattia, NUS President

You can read Malia's full blog on the importance of commemorating HMD here.

Each year, HMD follows a specific topic or theme, with this year’s theme being ‘how can life go on?’ and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) has launched an insightful and poignant video that identifies the distinct parallels between the discrimination, prejudice and fear that led to the Holocaust and that we face now.

NUS has supported the HMDT to produce a specific guide on activities around the day and how students’ unions, colleges and universities can mark the occasion, get involved in their work and commemorate HMD. You can access the guide online here.

We have also produced a suite of resources focused on helping to tackle and eradicate hate crime in all it's forms – including religious hate crime, sexism and misogynyracism and xenophobiadisablism, and LGBTphobia  - which are available at

Holocaust Memorial Day is promoted and supported by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT). For more information on their work and activities your union can organise to mark HMD in your area, please visit


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