A Holocaust Memorial Day event was held by the Centre for German-Jewish Studies on February 6 2019. The ‘Torn From Home’ programme took place in the Jubilee Lecture Theatre at the University of Sussex from 1.30pm-5.30pm and featured a variety of events.

The Centre for German-Jewish Studies put on a Holocaust Memorial Day event, which they have done ever since the event was first marked in the UK in the year 2001. The event was sponsored by the Association of Jewish Refugees, which allowed this event to be free to attendees. Diana Franklin, Centre Manager for the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex, told The Badger “We feel that it is crucial for young generations to hear from survivors as long as there are survivors to tell their stories. There won’t be any survivors able to speak to audiences in a few years time. We want young people to think about what racist ideology can lead to. It is particularly important in the current Brexit/Trump atmosphere and also relevant to notice that right wing parties are once more gaining popularity across Europe.”

The event began with a welcome address by Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Sussex; Frida Gustafsson, President, University of Sussex Students’ Union; Michael Newman, Chief Executive, The Association of Jewish Refugees and; Gideon Reuveni, Director, Centre for German-Jewish Studies.

The first programme on the schedule was Professor Richard Overy, University of Exeter, who gave a talk entitled ‘September 1939 and the Fate of Europe’s Jews’. Professor Overy is a British historian who has published extensively on the history of World War II and Nazi Germany more broadly. This programme was chaired by Professor Liz James who is the Head of the School of History, Art History and Philosophy at the University of Sussex.

After this discussion, Detective Chief Superintendent Nick May lit a memorial candle and said a few words on behalf of Sussex Police. The candle was designed by Anish Kapoor.

The next event on the programme was a conversation with Anita Lasker Wallfisch and Niklas Frank. Wallfisch survived Auschwitz by playing in the women’s orchestra and has spoken at many events regarding the Holocaust, including addressing the German Government last year. Frank’s father – Hans Frank – was one of the architects of the Holocaust as Governor of Nazi occupied Poland. Frank regularly speaks about his evil father and how his Father’s role in the Holocaust has affected him. This event was chaired by Trudy Gold, Director of Holocaust Studies, Jewish Cultural Centre, London.

Finally, there was a viewing of ‘Home Movie’. This film featured home video captured from Czechoslovakia in the 1930s to Cardiff in the 1950s, it uniquely portrayed the events that occurred. The film has been shown at many prestigious international Jewish Film Festivals, including London, Jerusalem, New York, Berlin and Moscow. Director of the film, Caroline Pick, then answered questions from the audience. This event was chaired by Nicola Glucksmann who is a documentary producer and Jungian analyst.

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