By Press Office 23 January 2019

Dozens of school students from East Lothian will be among the guests invited to attend a Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration at Queen Margaret University tomorrow.

Pupils from schools across the local authority will be joined by the Provost of East Lothian, John McMillan, QMU staff and students at the University for ‘Torn from Home’ on 24 January, to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the millions of people killed under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

'Torn from Home' encourages audiences to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide. ‘Home’ usually means a place of safety, comfort and security. 

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 (HMD), we will reflect on what happens when individuals, families and communities are driven out of, or wrenched from their homes, because of persecution or the threat of genocide, alongside the continuing difficulties survivors face as they try to find and build new homes when the genocide is over. 

The programme will include a short film by a QMU student, an art project led by the University’s Art Psychotherapy students, live music from QMU Music Therapy students, and candle lighting in memory of the millions who died as a result of genocide. Attendees will also hear from two East Lothian high school students who visited Auschwitz, the concentration camp where an estimated 1.1 million people died at the hands of the Nazis between 1941-1945.

Now in its sixth year, the annual commemoration is a joint endeavour by QMU academics, Professor Joe Goldblatt and Dr Iddo Oberski. Iddo has a personal connection to the horrors of the Holocaust. His father, Jona Oberski, was a child prisoner in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and has recounted his experiences there and in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in his book, ‘A Childhood’.

Provost McMillan said: “Holocaust Memorial Day provides an opportunity to not only remember the horrors of the holocaust during the Second World War but to reflect and hopefully learn from the lessons of the past.

"Genocide can continue to happen across the world when hatred, racism and discrimination is not challenged. HMD is an invaluable event that gives a focus on informed debate, education and mutual understanding which can help prevent history repeating itself.”

The commemoration will take place on Thursday 24 January 2019 at 2pm in the Halle Lecture Theatre, Queen Margaret University. For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day, please visit http://www.hmd.org.uk/.

Notes to Editor

For further media information please contact Karen Keith (Media Relations and Content Officer) at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: kkeith@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

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