Stephen fry stressed the need for youngsters to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust as he launched a major new arts project linking artists with survivors.
The celebrated broadcaster is among seven British artists who have been paired with Holocaust and genocide survivors to retell their stories through the creation of artworks.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s ‘Memory Maker’s’ arts project seeks to shed fresh light on the atrocities endured by the survivors, but aims to use these pieces of art as a means of keeping the memory alive.
Fry will produce a written piece in response to having met 89 year old Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a cellist and surviving member of the women’s orchestra in Auschwitz, who shared her experiences with him.
Stephen Fry said of his involvement “The grotesque and growing spectre of Holocaust denial makes it more and more urgent for the young, now so many more generations separated from the Shoah, to listen to those who went through it and to understand the meaning of it. How else can its repetition – against any racial or other group in any society – be prevented?”
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Chief Executive Olivia Marks-Woldman describes the projects importance, “It is absolutely vital that the lessons of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides are not lost to history. Survivors’ experiences remind us how important it is to confront all forms of hatred and discrimination, and this group of British artists is helping to interpret their stories in new ways.”
The Memory Maker’s arts project announced significantly today, 70 days before the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and 20 days before the 20 years since the Genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia. The initiative sees the pairing of visually impaired illustrator Kimberly Burrows with 92 year-old Holocaust survivor Sabina Miller. Animator Gemma Green-Hope with Holocaust survivor Ivor Perl, 82.
Collage artist Martin O’Neil, in collaboration with film maker Andrew Griffin, meeting 82 year-old Holocaust survivor Bettine Le Beau. Clay sculptor Clare Twomey, with Nisad ‘Šiško’ Jakupović, 49, a survivor of the Omarska Concentration Camp in Bosnia. Poet Sarah Hesketh linked with Holocaust survivor 84 year-old Eve Kugler and Film director Debs Paterson who met Holocaust survivor Janine Webber.
The artworks will be revealed online to the public in January 2015.