Be the light in the darkness

Wednesday 27th January 2021 is Holocaust Memorial Day. This year the History Department will mark this important day in a different way whilst we are working and learning remotely. Throughout the week we will share various resources for our school community to access and reflect on. 

Be The Light – Holocaust Memorial Day Candles

Members of our school community have shared with us images of the candles they lit during Holocaust Memorial Day. This was done to remember those who were murdered for who they were and to stand against prejudice today. Here are some of the images:

Entry for Thursday 28 January 2021

Tonight on BBC 4 at 8pm students have the opportunity to watch feature film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  This moving account of the experience of a Jewish child Bruno provides us with an opportunity to see how the Holocaust had a profound effect on the lives of Jewish families in the 1940s, particularly young children.  The film is a screen adaptation of the novel by John Boyne.  As it is a school night this film could also be recorded to watch at a more suitable time.  When students return to school, they will also find copies of the novel in the school library.

Entry for Wednesday 27 January 2021

Holocaust teaching is an important part of the History curriculum at St Thomas More.  Last summer Miss Vaughan (Head of History) completed online CPD with University College London to continue to enhance the pedagogical approach to Holocaust Teaching.  As a result of successfully completing the course and a test, Miss Vaughan was provided with a free set of textbooks from UCL for Year 8 students to utilise in the classroom. 

We look forward to using these with Year 8 later on in the Spring Term.

Entry for Tuesday 26 January 2021

At 8pm on Holocaust Memorial Day (Wednesday 27th January), get ready to Light the Darkness to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.  Households across the UK will be lighting candles and safely putting them in their windows to:

  • remember those who were murdered for who they were murdered
  • stand against prejudice and hatred today

Light a candle and safely put it in your window at 8pm on 27th January and send in your pictures to [email protected]

We will collate these images together and post a selection on Facebook this Friday.

Entry for Monday 25 January 2021

We begin the week by introducing the national theme for 2021.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2021 is Be the light in the darkness. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.

Be the light in the darkness is an affirmation and a call to action for everyone marking HMD. This theme asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example, resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.

Increasing levels of denial, division and misinformation in today’s world mean we must remain vigilant against hatred and identity-based hostility. Rapid technological developments, a turbulent political climate, and world events beyond our control can leave us feeling helpless and insignificant. The utterly unprecedented times through which we are living currently are showing the very best of which humanity is capable but also – in some of the abuse and conspiracy theories being spread on social media – the much darker side of our world as well.

We can all stand in solidarity. We can choose to be the light in the darkness in a variety of ways and places – at home, in public, and online.

We will continue to do our bit for as long as we can, secure in the knowledge that others will continue to light a candle long after us. – Gena Turgel MBE, survivor of the Holocaust (1923-2018)