Holocaust Day Memorial Trust Seek 80 Young People

80 young people needed to create candleholders for the 80th anniversary of Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) have an opportunity for some local young people to get involved in their recently launched 80 Candles for 80 Years project.

HMDT is the charity which promotes and supports Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) in the UK. HMD takes place each year on 27 January.

To mark the upcoming 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, HMDT invite you to take part in their arts project 80 Candles for 80 Years.

They are encouraging communities, individuals and organisations to submit applications to take part. 

A memorial square in Krakow at the back of the Qubus Hotel on the banks of the Vistula River. Jewish schoolchildren were sent to their deaths in Auschwitz-Birkenau near Krakow in Poland and were told they could only take one item with them… they all thought they were going to another school so took a chair. (Photos: Jim Masson ©).

“I took the photo above in June 2019 in Krakow beside the Qubus Hotel on the banks of the River Vistula where I stayed while on a short visit with a group from a community relations course I was doing at the time,” said Jim Masson, editor of Down News.

“We visited Auschwitz -Birkenau extermination camps and the industrial scale of the process was frightening.

“The eeriness and emptiness of the square in Krakow has never left me.

“The photo tells the story of a class of Jewish children who were told by the German guards they could only take one item with them.

“The children then decided to take a chair each and they all went to the gas chamber thinking they were going to another school to continue their education.

“The group I was with completed a visit to the Auschwitz camp which was a scene of unmentionable horrors, and we went to Birkenau a few miles away where the mass executions took place, and some of us braved a walk through the gas chambers.

“Again the incredible scale of the extermination project was breathtaking with three furnaces (two were demolished just before the liberation) in Birkenau dedicated to burning the dead.”

In June 2019 the good relations group visited Birkenau death camp close to Auschwitz just outside Krakow in Poland while doing a good relations course. Pictured are some of the participants of the course. (I’m in the red polo shirt).

More information about the anniversary of the liberation can be found on the HMDT website: 

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust | 80 Candles for 80 Years (hmd.org.uk)

The deadline is 23 June for applications and they are very keen to share this far and wide, so please do share with any interested networks, friends, and others.

If you are able to help, they will be sharing the following text in their newsletter which may be of use.

A spokesperson forr the HMDFT said: “There is still time to apply to be part of our ’80 candles for 80 years’ arts project.

“We are inviting communities across the UK to create a candleholder, an image of which will be showcased in our digital exhibition marking the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Aucshwitz-Birkenau.

“The project is open to everyone, whether you are a school or a university, a faith, community or a workplace, a local authority or a museum. Anyone can get involved.

If you would like to take part, simply complete the short application form at:

hmd.org.uk/80 candles and email it to project2025@hmd.org.uk by 23 June.