HET follow up seminar 2The Union of Jewish students has started a new Holocaust education program, with representatives from universities across the country meeting for the first time on the 19 November.

At an intensive seminar to consider how they can educate their contemporaries about the Holocaust and its relevance today, a broad spectrum of students engaged as part of a new pilot programme led by UJS and supported by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

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Students also heard the testimony of Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke and visited Auschwitz-Birkenau on a one day visit with the Trust to see for themselves the horrors that took place there. 

During the seminar, the participants were encouraged to reflect on what they had seen during their visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau and to consider how the Holocaust can be commemorated on campus.HET follow up seminar 1

The student representatives, included Robbie Young, NUS LGBT Officer and NUS Vice-President Piers Telemacque. They also discussed contemporary issues such as antisemitism and denigration of the Holocaust on campus.

Today, the Union of Jewish Students has announced that the pilot project which took place will be extended, with a second project taking place next year. 

Speaking about the importance of the project, UJS Campaigns Director, Maggie Suissa said:

“As the number of antisemitic incidents rises across Europe, it is imperative that our generation make it a priority to educate ourselves on the memory of the Holocaust. We have launched this project to ensure that Holocaust commemoration does not become a Jewish endeavour, but a social responsibility.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust said:

“We are delighted to be supporting the Union of Jewish Students in delivering this pilot programme. These young people are the leaders of tomorrow, and we hope that by taking part in this project they will take a leading role in ensuring that the integrity of the Holocaust is protected on our campuses. The Holocaust is a powerful reminder of where antisemitism, hatred and prejudice can ultimately lead and it is crucial now, more than ever, that it is never forgotten.” 

Participant Miki Vyse, Preisdent, Leeds Trinity Students Union said:

“The programme is something that I never thought I’d take part in, or find so moving. It really challenged me emotionally, seeing a single room where the entire population of my university could have been murdered was truly eye opening, the sheer number of the victims of the Holocaust is so hard to comprehend, and it is so important that we make a stand to make sure something like that never happens again.”