What is Holocaust Memorial Day 2022? Date of day of remembrance, this year’s theme - is there a badge?

On Holocaust Memorial Day, households around the UK are encouraged to light a candle in a stand against hate and prejudice

Every year at the end of January comes Holocaust Memorial Day, a day to remember, honour and share the stories of those persecuted through genocide.

Around the UK everyone is encouraged to get involved with the varieties of events taking place to mark the day, from attending the online Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony to lighting a candle in a stance against hate.

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This is everything you need to know.

What is Holocaust Memorial Day?

Holocaust Memorial Day is a day which encourages the remembrance of those who lost their lives due to genocide.

The Holocause Memorial Day Trust (HMDT), which is a charity established and funded by the UK Government to promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day, explains that the day is to “remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution of other groups and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur”.

A single rose has been placed on a concrete block at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin (Photo: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)

The day is a day for everyone to get involved and to come together to learn more about those who have endured genocide, and honour the survivors, those who lost their lives and those whose lives were changed beyond recognition.

The HMDT says: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a day for everyone.

“The Holocaust was a tragically defining episode of the 20th Century and its unprecedented character will always hold universal meaning.

“People from all parts of the UK and of all ethnicities, religions and interests come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.”

When is it - and what’s the significance of the date?

Holocaust Memorial Day occurs annually on 27 January.

The date is significant because 27 January marks the anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

What’s the theme this year?

This year, the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2022 is “One Day”.

There are multiple ways to interpret the theme the HMDT states.

Overall, the theme has been chosen in the hope that there will be one day in the future with no genocide.

The HMDT recommends picking one day in history and learning about that day, in the spirit of the theme. Some dates that the HMDT gives as an example are:

  • 19 April 1943 when, in Warsaw, the Jewish inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto fought back against the Nazi Regime
  • 12 July 1995, which was the last day that many women saw their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers as more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were murdered in and around Srebrenica
  • 17 April 1975, which was the day Khmer Rouge entered the Cambodian capital, ushering in five years of terror and over two million people murdered 
People stand in front of a commemorative plaque at the memorial site of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar, eastern Germany (Photo: JENS SCHLUETER/AFP via Getty Images)

Holocaust and genocide survivors also often talk about the one day in their life when everything changed, sometimes for the worse and occasionally for the better. Additionally, the HMDT says that “it may be hard to pick out just One Day, as for many, to keep going through each and every day was a huge struggle, with no end in sight and no glimmer of hope that the next day would be any better”.

Previous themes over the years for Holocaust Memorial Day include:

  • 2021: Be the light in the darkness
  • 2020: Stand together
  • 2019: Torn from home
  • 2018: The power of words
  • 2017: How can life go on?

What events are on - and how can I take part?

There are loads of events going on throughout the UK commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day.

A UK ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day will be streamed online on Thursday 27 January. It will run from 7pm to 8pm and at 8pm households across the UK are encouraged to safely light candles and place them in their windows in remembrance of those who were murdered for who they were, and to stand against prejudice and hatred.

Those who are able to do so are encouraged to share a photo of their candle on social media, using the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness.

You can register to watch the ceremony on the HMDT website.

Households across the UK are encouraged to light candles to take a stand against hate (Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

You can see what events are taking place near you using the interactive map on the HMDT website. 

Examples of activities include:

  • A Holocaust Memorial Day vigil, being held in Sheffield 
  • The screening of a short film featuring local faith leaders and representatives from the council centred around Holocaust Memorial Day 2022, which is taking place in Rotherham 
  • A minutes silence at 11am, in Huddersfield 
  • A service of commemoration, remembrance and hope with with readings from the Bible and Qu’ran, the Jewish Kaddish, in Derby 
  • A Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony, in Wigston 
  • A Holocaust Memorial speakers event which will feature a speak from Generation 2 Generation where a second generation survivor will share their mothers story, held in St Andrews 

If you want to support the HMDT, you can donate to the charity through its website. You can opt for a monthly donation or a one off.

Can I buy a Holocaust Memorial Day badge?

Many might have noticed MPs and Prime Minister Boris Johnson wearing a purple Holocaust Memorial Day badge during the PMQs.

If you want a badge, which is designed as a purple and pink flame, you can order them from the Holocaust Memorial Day website. 

They are free to order, and you can order up to three at a time. You can make an optional donation after submitting your order.

However with Holocaust Memorial Day so soon, it’s highly unlikely you’ll recieve your order before the day.

The HMDT recommended that orders be placed before 3pm on Monday 24 January, to allow time for orders to arrive.

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