The University of Northampton marked Holocaust Memorial Day for the first time at the Waterside Campus.
This year the annual event organised by Dr Paul Jackson, Senior Lecturer in History and expert in far-right extremism at the University of Northampton, developed on the national theme – ‘Torn from Home’ – to look at the pre-war political and social atmosphere, and the role women played in this, with a keynote delivered by Julie Gottlieb, Professor in Modern History, at the University of Sheffield.
History student, Kay Montero, presented her thoughts on the Kinder Transport scheme, which saw thousands of Jewish children brought to the UK from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, in the nine months before the outbreak of war. These children were placed with foster families in the UK, with records suggesting they were the only members of their families surviving the Holocaust.
John Josephs, from the local Hebrew congregation spoke passionately about the need to remember the Holocaust; to understand how hate can creep into wider society, linking words from the Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, to today’s ‘fake news’ movement, and council us all to educate against hate.
Dr Jackson said: “The University marks Holocaust Memorial Day each year, when we invite people from across Northampton to join us to reflect on the past, and consider historical responses to the Nazi regime and how they influenced the lives, and deaths, of so many. It is a poignant time to use our shared history to consider the world around us today and all support the notion that this should never again be permitted to happen.
“I’m delighted that this strong community tradition has been marked for the first time at Waterside Campus and we were able to welcome a strong contingent from the Jewish community, alongside our students and staff.”
A remembrance ceremony was held, with staff, students, and members of the Northampton community laying stones at the foot of the bird of transformation sculpture at the Waterside Campus.