YOUNG people will be spreading the word about the Holocaust and the lessons which must be learned at an event next week.
Eight young people aged between 13 and 16 formed the Holocaust Memorial Group – Hartlepool to commemorate and help other youngsters understand the Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in the likes of Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia.
Over the past year the group – Oliver Pinsent, Jasmine Sirs, Annabelle Napper, Caitlin Lloyd, Jake Hornsey, Lois Joynt, Kate Kenny and Lauren Culley – has done lots of research including interviews with people who experienced the impact of the Holocaust, a visit to the National Holocaust Centre in Newark and a study tour to Poland, where they visited Auschwitz concentration camp.
The group will share its experiences at an event called ‘Keep The Memory Alive’ on international Holocaust Memorial Day on Tuesday, January 27, in the Avenue Ballroom in Lauder Street from 6.30pm-8.30pm in front of an audience of young people, parents, teachers, councillors and other members of the local community.
They have worked with Hartlepool Borough Council’s Youth Support Service on the project.
The young people will launch a 16-page booklet called ‘Never Again: Their Past, Our Future’ which explores the Holocaust and the paths which lead to genocide, tells survivors’ stories and looks at the more recent mass murders in Rwanda and Bosnia.
There will also be a screening of an interview between Oliver Pinsent and Hartlepool resident Frank Lavin, whose late father Wilf took part in the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 while serving with the Durham Light Infantry.
A guest speaker will be Newcastle City Councillor Jackie Slesenger, who chaired Newcastle City Council’s Holocaust Memorial Day Committee for a number of years.
Holocaust Memorial Group member Oliver Pinsent said: “At the moment we are seeing national and international headlines about another rise in anti-semitism, so our event could not be more timely.
“Our project has had a profound impact on us and we hope our event and our booklet will make the same impression on other people.”
Entry to next week’s event is by ticket only.
A number of free public tickets are still available from the Youth Support Service on (01429) 284320.