The BBC’s iconic flagship programme, Antiques Roadshow, is teaming up for the first time with the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation (UKHMF) to mark Holocaust Memorial Day next January.
In a special edition of the programme, to be filmed next month, the Roadshow team will look at artefacts from the Holocaust with the aim of exploring the stories behind them.
Newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, a board member of the UKHMF, has already conducted a number of interviews with British Holocaust survivors and camp liberators, many of whom were speaking for the first time. Some of these interviews will be included in the January programme.
Now the Roadshow hopes to uncover many more stories from survivors and their families. In a rare break with the traditions of the programme, the BBC has decided that items will not be valued.
Journalist Jenni Frazer was inspired by an initiative at Yad Vashem, Gathering the Fragments, to suggest the idea to the UKHMF, which brought the BBC on board.
She said: “I believe there are many families who have inherited diaries and papers of all kinds from their parents or grandparents, and, perhaps because they do not speak the languages, have no idea where such items fit in the jigsaw of the Holocaust.
“I’m really hoping that people come forward with material from labour camps or ghettoes, or perhaps keepsakes that those fleeing the Nazis brought with them to Britain.”
Previous editions of the Roadshow have featured stories and objects owned by Jewish families during World War Two. They have included jewels buried by families fleeing the Nazis and even a ring a Holocaust survivor kept hidden through several concentration camps.
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