Powerful video message marks Holocaust Memorial Day

Date 18.01.2022

Father Andrew Behrens, from the University’s Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Team, has recorded a powerful video message to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

In it, he points to the way the truth of history can be skewed, depending on which ‘side’ you are on.

He said: “We have done appalling things in the history of our nation, just as appalling things have happened in the history of other nations. Our concern must be that none of these things are airbrushed out of history, but that they are honestly faced, the truth of them is acknowledged, and we are able to say, as we say every year on Holocaust Memorial Day: never again.”

Watch the video message below.

The University of Northampton is inviting people to tune in for its Holocaust Memorial Day event, which will be hosted online today, Monday 24 January.

Each year, the University marks Holocaust Memorial Day with talks from academics, students and the wider community.

This year’s event takes place on Monday 24 January, between 3pm and 5pm – you can register on the Eventbrite page.

The event, which has been organised in association with Northamptonshire Rights and Equalities Council, will include a keynote speech from Dr Roland Clark, from Liverpool University. His talk will be based on his research, titled Fascists as Holocaust Perpetrators in Croatia, Romania, Poland and Ukraine.

Other speakers include Northampton History student, Ella Phelps and the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford. There will also be a video message from Father Andrew Behrens from the University’s Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Team.

John Josephs, from Northampton Hebrew Congregation, and Siobhan Hyland, from Northamptonshire Rights and Equalities Council, will also speak at the event.

There will also be a related event at Waterside campus on Tuesday 25 January, at 2.30pm, in the Memorial Garden. Students and staff will be invited to gather safely outside, for the dedication of a memorial tree that the History Society planted last year.

The Society will also welcome a guest speaker to campus, on Wednesday 26 January, at 2pm, in room LH121, the Learning Hub. The speaker, from the ‘45 Aid Society, will talk about his family and their experiences during the Holocaust. The talk will also include a candle lighting ceremony.

History Society member and student, Ella Phelps, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a time of reflection and memorial of all those victims of both the Holocaust and all the other genocides that have occurred since. The day falls on January 27, which has a particular importance as it was the day the liberation of Auschwitz and Auschwitz Birkenau occurred, in 1945. That marked the start of all the labour and concentration camps being liberated. Holocaust Memorial Day is witnessed across the world with many trying to make sure that these atrocities will not be forgotten and therefore should not happen again.

“Sir Winston Churchill once said ‘Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it’ and this sentiment is commonly held by Holocaust survivors, with many of them choosing to relive their experiences in order to share with others to make sure that these atrocities don’t happen again.”

Professor in the History of Radicalism and Extremism, Dr Paul Jackson, has written a blog for Holocaust Memorial Day: Remembering the Holocaust in an era of Covid.