Holocaust Memorial Day (January 27) is a day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

In County Durham, a number of events are being staged for the public to remember and learn about the Holocaust and genocides, giving a deeper understanding of persecution groups have faced over history, as well as a look into the lives of those impacted.

The Northern Echo has pulled together Holocaust Memorial Day events, so you can have the chance to pay your respects and learn. 

Read more:  Remembrance Day: Pictures from across the North East

An address from Professor Marek Szablewski

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, Durham County Council is holding a free event on Friday 27 January in at the Gala Theatre in Durham City.

Professor Marek Szablewski will share the story of his family's life in occupied Poland during World War II.

Prof Szablewski's father was a Polish resistance fighter, so his Jewish step-grandmother and aunt were hidden from the Nazis during the war.

Since being awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship in 2011, the Durham University Physics lecturer has been researching his family history and the journey that brought his parents to Yorkshire.

The event will take place at Gala Theatre and Cinema on Friday 27 January 2023 starting at 10.00 am.

Durham Record Office's Virtual Exhibition 

Almost too horrible for words - the liberation of Belsen concentration camp

This online exhibition centres on the recently deposited letters of gunner Jack Fairweather, who alongside many County Durham men, took part in the liberation of Belsen Concentration Camp. Writing to his fiancée, his need to record his experience is obvious: 'the story I have to tell is almost too horrible for words but I feel I must tell of what I've seen in the last few days'.

Read more: Holocaust events ‘more important than ever’ in face of mass killings 78 years on

'Ordinary People' - Durham Cathedral's Holocaust Exhibition

Durham Cathedral is hosting an artwork exhibition around this year's theme 'Ordinary People'. Artist Jayne Blacklock has collaborated with students from Belmont Community and St Leonards Catholic schools to produce stunning portraits. 

An exhibition about the Porrajmos or Romani Holocaust which recounts the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Romanis during the Second World War will also be on display. Porrajmos means 'the devouring', and is the term used to describe the genocide of Europe's Roma and Sinti populations by the Nazis between 1934 and 1945.

The exhibitions can be viewed in the Galilee Chapel, Durham Cathedral, from Friday 27 January 2023 until the evening of Sunday 29 January 2023.

Durham University's Porrajmos exhibition 

The exhibition about the Porrajmos or Roma Holocaust which recounts the deaths of hundreds of thousands of travellers during the Second World War will also be on display at St Aidan's College, Durham Tuesday 31 January to Tuesday 14 February 2023.

Opening times are weekdays 10.00am - 8.00pm (4 February closing at 4.00pm), weekends 11.00am - 4.00pm. Please go to the college reception on arrival.

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