'Be the light' for East End's Holocaust Memorial Day to go online

The Windermere Children... film about rescue from Nazi wartime death camps

The Windermere Children is a film about rescue from Nazi wartime death camps - Credit: PBS

A remarkable true story of how Jewish children surviving Nazi death camps were rescued and brought to Britain is being screened for this year's East End Holocaust Memorial Day.

The annual event arranged by Tower Hamlets Council is going totally online this year because of the Covid lockdown. 

Features include a film for schools, The Windermere Children, about Jewish orphans brought to the Lake District to recover after surviving German death camps in Occupied Europe that were liberated by the Allies at the end of the Second World War.

The film that tells the true story of Jewish children who survived Nazi death camps

A film that tells the true story of Jewish children who survived Nazi death camps will be shown as part of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day - Credit: PBS

It is available online from January 27 for schools taking part, followed by a Q&A session with the film-makers. Students can email questions to rachel.burns@ukjewishfilm.org

The UK Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony is also being streamed online at 7-8pm the same day, registration at the same email.

Mayor John Biggs at previous annual Holocaust town hall memorial service

Mayor John Biggs at a previous Holocaust town hall memorial service - Credit: Mike Brooke

“This year’s theme being ‘the light in the darkness' is especially pertinent as we deal with the global Covid-19 pandemic,” mayor John Biggs said.  “We must reflect on how communities in the East End have stood together in the past to resist acts of prejudice and fascism, as we remember the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust and other genocides.” 

The annual memorial was started in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of when the biggest German death camp, Auschwitz, was liberated by Soviet forces in 1945. Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the long Holocaust in German-occupied Europe.

Inmates at a Nazi death camp during the Holocaust

Inmates at a Nazi death camp during the Holocaust - Credit: Holocaust Memorial Trust

Other genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur have been added since. People are being asked to “reflect on the depth humanity can sink to” and be a light in the darkness through acts of solidarity.  

Olivia Marks-Woldman from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said: “This is a reminder of the fragility of civilisation, to remember those who protected or saved others from persecution and death, often at great personal risk.” 

To the six million who perished in the Nazi Holocaust

To the six million who perished in the Nazi Holocaust - Credit: LBTH

An interfaith commemoration is being screened on the council’s YouTube channel from 3pm on January 31, organised jointly by the Jewish East End Celebration Society, East London Central Synagogue in Stepney, the Jewish Care charity and UK Jewish Film.