Outside Holocaust Memorial Centre
A plinth engraved with the names of concentration camps at The Holocaust Memorial Centre, Laxton.

Concentration camp survivors will talk to East Midlands schoolchildren and light candles of remembrance to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.

The National Holocaust Memorial Centre in Laxton, Nottinghamshire is the only one of its kind in the UK and aims to use the lessons learnt from the Holocaust to encourage tolerance and diversity within society today.

WATCH: Professor Bill Niven explains why the Holocaust is still important today

Educators at the centre have worked to create a virtual reality experience where visitors can ask survivors questions, creating a link even after those who experienced the holocaust have died.

Professor Bill Niven, a professor at Nottingham Trent University said that he sees a link between there being fewer survivors of the Holocaust alive to talk about their experiences and rising anti-Semitism and racism.

He continued: “The survivors were the ones who brought the holocaust to light more than anything and made us aware of the need to fight racism in the present.”

“It’s really about creating upstanders in our communities and breaking down the hatred we’ve got in society…”
Sarah Wetton, Senior Educator

The centre also hosted an art lecture from Dr Roman Nieczyporowski of the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts who looked at portrayals and memorials of the holocaust and spoke of his own experience as one of fewer than 4,000 identifying Jewish people currently living in Poland.

He described the centre at Laxton as “a perfect place” with the tranquil gardens providing an ideal location to reflect.

Sarah Wetton, a senior educator at the centre says that they aim to get ‘upstanders’ – people who will speak out when something is wrong, “It’s really about creating upstanders in our communities and breaking down the hatred we’ve got in society at the moment.”

Holocaust Memorial Day is celebrated throughout the UK and commemorates all victims of genocide, with a service also taking place in Nottingham Council House and Westminster.

First marked in 2001, Holocaust Memorial Day has returned every year with different themes.

This year is stand together, asking those involved to oppose persecution and racism as one.

Tributes this year include a 12 metre mural at Chelsea Football Club and photographs taken by the Duchess of Cambridge.