By Barnabas Balint and the Farnborough Sixth Form Student Association
For Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, the History Department and Student Association of Farnborough Sixth Form College, led by HMDT Youth Champion Barnabas Balint, organised a commemorative event. Students from local schools and from the college, as well as representatives from the community, were invited to hear from Holocaust survivor, John Dobai.
The event also heard from students who had visited Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz programme and from Jessica Benham, an Outreach Officer from HMDT. The event was opened by the Mayor of Rushmoor, Councillor Martin Tennant.
This artwork was produced at the end of the event, by people who were inspired by what they had heard. Upon leaving, attendees were invited to write pledges of how they could take the messages of HMD into their own lives. Each pledge was written on a piece of paper with the HMDT flame logo on it. They were then pinned onto a display board in the shape of the people of the ‘Don’t Stand By’ logo.
Some of the pledges are as follows:
I pledge to not allow discrimination in my school.
I pledge to wear my HMD wristband every day to remind myself and others around me about the Holocaust.
I pledge to always stand up to injustice and for people who are being bullied.
I pledge to organise an annual school wide event to promote Holocaust Memorial Day.
This artwork was inspired by hearing testimony of Holocaust survivors and from people who visited the camps. In that way, it honours the countless heroes who went through the persecution of the Holocaust, ensuring that their life stories, their cultures and their communities are never forgotten.
It also honours the work of every human being who strives against injustice, discrimination, racism and hatred. It honours those who don’t stand by. This is not limited to the Holocaust or to subsequent genocides, it recognises the work of each individual at every level. It honours those who stand up to bullying, to injustice and to discrimination in all of our lives.
Lastly, it honours the people who attended the event, those who went home inspired to act on the messages of HMD in their own lives. Inspired by the event, they gained a new perspective on their own communities, which they now value even more.