The theme of the Holocaust Memorial Day programme in 2018 is 'The Power of Words'.

Welcome to Newcastle’s Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) programme for 2018. HMD takes place on 27 January each year, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

HMD 2018 - The Power of Words








The theme for HMD in 2018, chosen by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, is ‘The Power of Words’.

The written and spoken word, whether delivered by individuals, corporations, community organisations or the state, can have a huge impact – for good and bad. The propaganda used during the Holocaust and other genocides to incite hatred; the slogans used in resistance; written reports in newspapers and on-line; and the words we use in conversation make a profound, and often devastating, impression on us and those around us. We underestimate their power at our peril.

This year’s HMD programme in Newcastle uses the spoken and written word, film, the visual arts, poetry and music to help us reflect on the way in which we and others use, and have used, language to incite or defy hatred, persecution and the behaviours that lead to genocide.

With our many partners in the community and voluntary sectors across the city who have contributed to the programme, we hope that you will be engaged, enlightened by and enriched by these examples of the past and present use of words and take inspiration from those who have put them to positive use.

Best wishes

Cllr Joyce McCarty

Download the programme here.

Launch Event

Sunday 28 January, 1pm
The Atrium, City Library
Hosted by the Representative Council for North East Jewry.

We are delighted to welcome Arek Hersh, one of The Boys, to talk about his experience and Robert Rinder, ITV’s ‘Judge Rinder and a direct descendent of another, to open the exhibition 'A Picture, A Life, a Future: Triumph over Adversity.

  • 1pm - Welcome by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr. Linda Wright
  • 1.10pm- Introduction to ‘The Boys’ and the Exhibition, Robert Rinder
  • 1.30pm - Arek Hersh – Talk
  • 2.25pm - Schools Presentation
  • 2.30pm - Exhibition Opening, Robert Rinder
  • 4pm - Close

The Launch Event is open to the public and is FREE.

In association with the ’45 Aid Society.
For more information visit 
For more information contact
Follow the ’45 Aid Society on Twitter: @45AidSociety.
Like the ’45 Aid Society Facebook page: 45 Aid Society: ‘The Boys


Thursday 25 January – Thursday 8 February 
Exhibition: Anne Frank: A History for Today
Anne Frank Trust UK
City Library

The exhibition explores Anne's short life against the background of the Holocaust and WWII. It encourages discussion about why the Frank family and others were forced to leave their homes to find refuge in Holland and further afield. The exhibition is open to the public each day during library opening hours.  

Thursday 25 January
Exhibition: The Power of Words
Walbottle Campus

An exhibition of work by students which reflects on 'the power of words' in the Holocaust, both in traditional written form but also through other creative media. The exhibition explores how the Jewish population described themselves in the ghettos and the impact their experience had on their sense of identity.

Sunday 28 January - Thursday 8 February
Exhibition: A Picture, a Life, A Future: Triumph over Adversity
City Library

An exhibition of remarkable Memory Quilts, created in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps at the end of World War II. The lives of 732 orphan child survivors are celebrated in the Memory Quilts. The young survivors were brought to the UK in 1945 to start a new life. They became known as “The Boys” even though about 80 of them were girls. Each fabric quilt square represents the life of one of The Boys.

The Memory Quilts were created by the children and grandchildren of The Boys and were curated by 2nd Generation member, Julia Burton. The quilts have been displayed in museums and exhibitions across the UK and featured on a special Holocaust-themed edition of the BBC TV ‘Antiques Roadshow’ in January 2017.

Alongside the Memory Quilts will be two new quilts made by young people from Newcastle schools which draw their inspiration from the originals. Supported and facilitated by Northern Cultural Projects, Anne Frank Trust UK and the Representative Council for North East Jewry, children from Stocksfield and St. John’s primary schools have worked with textile artist Sally Southern to make new artworks which echo and reflect on the ideas and themes of the originals.​

This exhibition has been generously supported by Dandy Events.

Dandy Events





Monday 12 February - Sunday 11 March
Exhibition: Children under the Nazis

What was it like to be a child in Nazi-occupied Europe? This exhibition shows the diversity of children’s experiences, using some of their contemporary essays and testimonies.

Dr Beate Muller, Lecturer in German History at Newcastle University, will run one-hour tours for the public and community groups on:

  • Monday 12 February, 1-2pm
  • Wednesday 7 March, 5-6pm
  • Sunday 11 March, 2-3pm

Places are FREE but advance booking is advised. Book free online.

Schools may book in for a 90 minute educational programme. For details, see: or contact Dr Beate Muller (email:


Wednesday 24 January, 5pm
Lecture: 'Music in and after the Holocaust: How survivors held onto their musical lives’
Ian Biddle (Newcastle University)
Bewick Hall, Newcastle City Library

This lecture asks how and why victims of the Holocaust continued to make music through the horrors they endured. It asks, also, how survivors made music about their experiences in the early aftermath.

Dr Biddle is a specialist on music and culture in Central and Eastern Europe, and teaches Music and Yiddish culture at Newcastle University.

Places are FREE but advance booking is advised.​ Book free online.

Please see the HMD programme for more information on all events.


Interview with Holocaust Survivor Sandor Vandor interviewed by Hannah Wilson from Nottingham University.

In 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary. Sandor was 19 years old. He was a Hungarian Jew. Seven decades later, Sandor was asked 'How Can Life Go On?'

View the highlights with subtitles

View the full interview with subtitles

Recommended reads

Further reading and resources available.

Holocaust Memorial Day in Newcastle

Page last updated: 
23 January 2018
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