Films, walks, music and drama mark Holocaust Memorial Day in York

20 Jan 2016 @ 8.27 am
| Entertainment, History

Documentaries and dramas, walks and talks, music and more – York is hosting a range of events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The day itself falls on January 27 and has the theme of Don’t Stand By. York has events on and around the day.

“In a world in which persecution is a daily reality for many communities, Don’t Stand By represents a call to action for politicians and people of good will to be vigilant, courageous and outspoken critics of intolerance, hatred and violence and of those who commit these terrible acts,” said York Minster’s Chancellor, the Reverend Canon Dr Chris Collingwood.

Cllr Nigel Ayre of York council said it was a diverse programme.

“Now in its ninth year, it offers residents the chance to remember not only the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust but all those who suffered persecution under the Nazis as well as more recent genocides including in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.”


Paragraph 175

South Bank Community Cinema, Clements Hall, Nunthorpe Road

Sat Jan 23 @ 8pm


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A very rare UK showing of a documentary of what has been a neglected part of the historical record of the Holocaust. Between 1933 and 1945, 100,000 gay men were arrested in Germany and only 4,000 survived.

By 2000 when the film was made, fewer than 10 were known to be still living. Four men and one woman came forward to tell their stories in this film which is narrated by Rupert Everett.

My Nazi Legacy

City Screen, Coney Street

Wed Jan 27 @ 6.30pm


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Dave Taylor, marketing manager of City Screen, said: “York’s appalling history of religious and racial persecution must be remembered, but the events of 1190 on the site of Clifford’s Tower are long past and we can only imagine those scenes.

“The same is not true of the Second World War and the Nazis’ treatment of Slavs, Gypsies, Disabled People, Homosexuals and Jews. These horrors are still within living memory.”

City Screen is showing My Nazi Legacy, a film exploring the relationship between two men, each of whom are the children of very high-ranking Nazi officials and possess starkly contrasting attitudes toward their fathers.

Eminent human rights lawyer Philippe Sands investigates the complicated connection between the two, and even delves into the story of his own grandfather who escaped the same town where their fathers carried out mass killings.

The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

Film at the Folk Hall, New Earswick Folk Hall

Fri Jan 29 @ 7.30pm


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Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.


Jewish History Walk

Meet at the steps of the Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens

Wed Jan 27 @ 12.30pm

Free – no booking required. Includes free entry to Clifford’s Tower

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The history of the Jewish community in York is a fascinating if often overlooked chapter in the city’s long and colourful past served up to tourists.

Whilst attention is usually focused on the tragic event at the site now called Clifford’s Tower, there are stories to be told along the historical tour about the resilience of the Medieval Jewish community after 1190, and also of commemoration and revival of Jewish life in the more recent past.

Find out more on this guided history walk, sponsored by HistoryWorks and English Heritage who will provide maps and summary histories.

Drama, music and remembrance

A candle-lit commemoration in the Chapter House. Photograph © geralt
A candle-lit commemoration in the Chapter House. Photograph © geralt

600 candles

York Minster Chapter House

Wed Jan 27; Evensong @ 5.15pm, procession @ 6pm

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The cathedral’s commemoration will start with a dedicated Evensong service followed by a procession to the Chapter House for the lighting of the 600 candles which will be set out on the floor to form the Star of David.

Representatives from the Jewish community, refugee support groups, interfaith groups and community organisations will be present for the event which will include readings, music and prayers, interspersed with silence for quiet reflection.

Returning for a second year will be Edith Jayne, born in Vienna in 1936 to a Jewish father and Catholic mother. More than 40 members of Edith’s family were transported from Hungary to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 and murdered there. Edith will be one of the readers at this year’s event.

they kill us for their sport

York Guildhall

Sat Jan 24 @ 7pm


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A reconsidering of William Shakespeare’s King Lear (from the Brythonic Llyr – half speech, half language).

York St John University theatre students have just returned from a secular pilgrimage to Auschwitz and they now ask themselves “how will we remember when all the witnesses are gone?”. They kill us for their sport will be composed of fragmented images, snatched conversations, half remembered events – in an attempt to make sense of it all.

Commemoration and Lecture

The Lakehouse, Ron Cooke Hub, York University

Wed Jan 27 1pm-3pm

Free: no need to book

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1-2pm: ‘Don’t Stand By’. Readings, music and reflections for students, staff and the local community. Followed by refreshments.

2.30pm-3.30pm: ‘Performing the Jewish Archive: Reflections on Lost Voices’. In a series of brief lecture-demonstrations, Dr Lisa Peschel with colleagues from the universities of York and Leeds will share their most recent discoveries regarding literary, musical and theatrical works created by Jewish artists in situations of internment, exile and emigration.

The Diamond Girl and the Goat-Horn Bee

Theatre Studio 1, York St John University

Wed Jan 27 @ 7.30pm


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A performance by with Shonaleigh Cumbers

When her world is torn apart Reisal has to watch as her family disappears and she herself becomes nothing more than a pawn of the powerful; Zekal Ben Yakov has to watch as his son sets out on a quest with only half a puzzle and a sack of questions.

The only thing that can save them all is a firewolf, an icefish, a snow tear and a goat-horn bee.

Holocaust Memorial Day Civic Event

York Explore

Sun Jan 31 @ 5.45pm-8.30pm

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An evening of short talks, exhibitions, discussion and film inspired by the 2016 theme Don’t Stand By.

There will be music from live Klezmer band Oyfn Oyg, a drama performance where young actors will present first-hand testimonies from within the audience to create an engaging, thought-provoking experience, as well as visual art exhibitions from York St John University students.


Various schools

Jan 25-31

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Assemblies is a 15-minute performance being performed at a number of York secondary schools. Performed by actors from York St John University, and commissioned by City of York Council, the play is written and directed by Colin Jackson of Creative Learning Partnerships.

He said: “We hope that the 1,800 pupils who will watch the play will understand how lessons can be learnt from the past and that it is our responsibility to not stand by and allow discrimination to happen.”

Assemblies will also be performed at the civic event at York Explore, see above.