Huddersfield University’s Holocaust Exhibition and Learning centre is to rebrand as part of a plan to take on a pan-northern role.
From November it will be renamed Holocaust Centre North and will now work with survivors across the whole of the north, assume a bigger educational role and become the only specialist resource in the region that’s dedicated to helping future generations learn about the genocide of European Jews during World War II.
The rebrand was marked with a visit this week by the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, who praised the Centre for taking on a bigger role.
“This is an incredibly valuable resource for Yorkshire and I’m really pleased to see it taking on a more prominent role to become a voice for the north,” she said.
“Our region has a proud history of welcoming people fleeing persecution from all over the world and the Centre’s hard work in promoting tolerance and understanding has never been more needed. We need to ensure younger generations learn the lessons of the Holocaust to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
The Centre’s director, Alessandro Bucci, said the decision to expand their remit had been taken because it was felt that the north needed a stronger voice to counter antisemitism and intolerance.
“Around the world conflict and violence is on the rise and in the UK we’ve seen a surge in antisemitism,” he said.
“Our centre is founded on the basic truth that no one is born hating another person and antisemitism, like all other forms of prejudice and racism, is learned behaviour. But hate can be unlearned by teaching tolerance and understanding and that’s what has motivated us to expand our work to cover the whole of the north.”
With remaining Holocaust survivors in the north now in their 90s, he acknowledged that the number of living witnesses to the atrocities was declining.
“We are a survivor-led organisation and we owe it to those who survived the Holocaust to continue their legacy,” he explained. “That means broadening our activities across the north, taking a fresh approach and amplifying their voices.”
Among the activities that Holocaust Centre North is committed to include working with the children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren of Holocaust survivors to explore their legacies, delivering educational activities in primary and secondary schools, and delivering a unique artist residency programme. It also plans to mark the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2025 by increasing the size of their archive by 50 per cent and safeguarding at least 10,000 fragile and rare items.
To find out more information, visit https://holocaustlearning.org.uk/about/