The Holocaust

Each year, Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, 75 years ago today. It is an opportunity for everyone to remember those killed in the Holocaust, and to reflect on other genocides around the world.

The Holocaust took place between 1933 and 1945. During that time, over six million Jews were murdered by Nazi forces attempting to exterminate all Jewish people as commanded by Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany. Thousands more people were killed for their race, religion, sexuality or political beliefs. Holocaust Memorial Day is a time to remember those innocent people.

Seventy-five years have passed since the end of the Holocaust, but the memory of the horrors which were perpetrated still shapes the way that many people see the world.

Unfortunately, anti-Semitism appears to be on the rise once more. In the USA, anti-Semitic attacks have doubled since 2015. In December 2018, a survey found that 89% of Jews living in 12 European countries thought anti-Semitism had increased in the last decade.

Why is it important to remember the Holocaust? And what can be done to prevent something similar happening again?

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A startlingly high number of people in the UK do not believe that the Holocaust happened. What is causing such high levels of denial? This important video explains the problem.


  1. Without using a dictionary, write definitions for the following words: Holocaust, genocide, anti-Semitism, racism, fascism.
  2. Why is anti-Semitism returning to Europe? Discuss as a class.
  3. The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is “stand together”, with special events to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Write a poem inspired by this year’s theme.