Marking Holocaust Memorial Day

This year’s theme charges us to collectively challenge antisemitism, intolerance and the politics of division and hate

monochrome image of a lit candle

Every year UNISON marks Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration and death camp.

We remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution, including Roma and Sinti people, disabled people, LGBT+ people, Black people, trade unionists and political opponents of the Nazis.

We also remember and commemorate the victims of more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Each year, Holocaust Memorial Day has a specific theme, which for 2023 is Ordinary People.

This theme will enable us to think about the lives of ordinary people caught up as victims. It will focus attention on the way that the silence and complicity of ordinary people also allowed these terrible events to occur.

It charges us to recommit as a trade union to bringing our collective efforts to bear to challenge antisemitism, intolerance and the politics of division and hate.

The Holocaust Memorial Trust has produced free guides and resources to help your workplace or UNISON branch organise events and activities around this theme.

The trust has also created guides to getting involved that feature tailored advice to support trade unions and workplaces organising activities to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

To find out more, access a wide range of resources and order free activity packs, visit the trust’s website at

No matter the scale of your event or activity, the trust would welcome learning about how your workplace or UNISON branch commemorates the day. Whether your activity is private or open to the public, you can let them know here.

The Holocaust Education Trust also offers guidance notes and suggested readings which you can access here.

UNISON also supports the work of Generation 2 Generation (G2G), a charity that provides speakers to tell their family Holocaust stories online or face-to-face to a variety of audiences.

Through these engaging and historically accurate presentations, integrating first-hand survivor testimony, G2G works to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust are learned, promoting tolerance of all groups in society.

You can find out more about this important work and vital survivor testimonies here.

To consider how your branch can work with G2Gnot just during Holocaust Memorial Day, but all year round:

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