Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre for the North

Development funding of £59,700 has also been awarded to help the HSFA progress their plans to apply for a full grant of £520,000 for the project at a later date.

Inspired by survivors, the new centre will be located in Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield to provide opportunities for communities, teachers, students and school children to learn about the Holocaust through photographs, digital testimonies, records of persecution, family letters and artefacts.

Using the best of modern technology, the legacy of survivors will be kept alive for generations to learn from. There will be opportunities for volunteering and the partnership with the University will help facilitate students to pursue research and scholarship. The new centre will also enable academic exchanges to take place with international partners. The Centre will provide a physical space for visitors; it will enable pupil, student and community workshops, teacher education, films, research and discussion and related touring exhibitions. The project seeks to promote universal values of human rights, and individual responsibility in fighting racism and xenophobia in all its forms in today’s world.

This award is timely in commemorating the Holocaust and as we approach the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps, including Bergen Belsen which was liberated by the British Army on 15 April 1945.

Lilian Black, Chair of the Association, said: “We are thrilled at this vote of confidence in our work here in the North of England. The Centre is an exciting investment in all of our futures and reflects the values of Britain. It is so important that we learn the lessons of the Holocaust to ensure our past fate does not become our future again. Over recent years we have been able to collect digital testimony, gather thousands of photographs and access survivors’ records of Nazi persecution through the International Tracing Service in Germany and have built strong partnerships in the UK and internationally which can now be brought together in a wonderful community resource at Heritage Quay within the University of Huddersfield, all thanks to HLF.”

Professor Tim Thornton, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, said: “I am very pleased that the university will be working closely with HSFA on this important project. It will build on strong existing relationships and on the excellent facilities at Heritage Quay, the University of Huddersfield's cutting-edge archive facility. The opportunities for teaching, learning and research are enormous.”

Fiona Spiers, Head of HLF Yorkshire and The Humber, said: “The Centre is envisaged as a permanent legacy for Yorkshire’s Holocaust survivors and a focus for learning, research and discussion for the benefit of present and future generations. We look forward to receiving the detailed plans.”

Notes to editors

The Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association (HSFA) was formed in 1996 and became a registered charity in 2001 to provide friendship and support to Jewish Holocaust survivors of the Nazi persecution (refugees, concentration and death camp survivors, ghetto survivors, hidden children, Kindertransport children, and former slave labourers) who settled in Yorkshire from mainland Europe and made a new life. In the past 15 years HSFA has developed its education, research and commemoration work as members decided they wanted to help today’s generations understand the dangers of persecution. Our main aims are to:

  • promote friendship and support Holocaust survivors and families;
  • promote learning about the Holocaust in schools, universities and community groups, using personal living testimony, evidence and experiences of survivors;
  • preserve and commemorate the Holocaust working with partners;
  • contribute to research, teaching and learning, working with universities, Memorial Sites in Germany, theatrical groups and international Holocaust and genocide exhibitions;
  • promote respect and tolerance between all members of society regardless of ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, or gender to enable society to learn the lessons of the past to prevent future genocides.

Further information

Lilian Black, Chair, HSFA, on tel: 07968 815067, email: lilian.black@btconnect.com 

More information can be found on the Holocaust Learning website

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