Last month, I had the chance to read my poems at the Holocaust memorial day at Huddersfield University. The memorial is not just a simple act of remembrance. It is a great event of growing relevance: personal testimonies of past atrocities and present-day persecutions were at the heart of 2017’s Holocaust Memorial Day.
The event organised in conjunction with the 6 million+ Charitable Trust. It was titled They could not erase us, and it drew its inspiration from the experiences of three women who have survived attempted genocide. Iby in Czechoslovakia and Hungary under the Nazis, plus the more recent experiences of Jasminka in Bosnia with its “ethnic cleansing”, and Fatima in Iraq, where former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein persecuted the Kurds.
Iby Knill, the Holocaust survivor, concluded the event with a reading of her harrowing Holocaust poem I Was There. Listen to her beautiful poems here.
Julia her granddaughter, gave a lovely speech. She told us how being the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor had affected her life and beliefs. ”We all have a responsibility to protect life .both our own lives and the lives of others. The differences between us are what make us so special. If we forget that difference is okay, that we are allowed to disagree with each other, then we forget what it is to be human.”