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Press release


  • 20 January 2006

Remembering the Holocaust - and changing the world


Singular heroism: Father Bruno, a Belgian Benedictine monk, saved 320 Jewish children

Singular heroism: Father Bruno, a Belgian monk who saved 320 Jewish children, is remembered at Sussex Holocaust Memorial Day

Wartime bravery and the tireless efforts of those who continue to bear witness to the Nazi atrocities against Jews and others are remembered at this year's Holocaust Memorial Day event at the University of Sussex.

Following the theme of national Holocaust Memorial Day - One Person CAN Make a Difference - the University event, open to all and free of charge, is on Wednesday, 25 January. There will be an opportunity for reflection in the University's Meeting House at midday, with candelit music and readings. The main programme begins at 2pm in Lecture Theatre A1, after a welcome address by University of Sussex Vice-Chancellor Professor Alasdair Smith.

The programme is as follows:

  • 2.15pm Surviving the Holocaust: one family's story. A talk from concentration camp child survivor Eva Clarke. Her talk is followed by a question-and-answer session chaired by Chana Moshenska of the University's Centre for German-Jewish Studies;
  • 4pm Film showing - The Optimists. The rescue of the Jews of Bulgaria during the Holocaust is an example of individuals making a difference, and the subject of this award-winning new film. It tells the stories of rescuers and friends and neighbours they saved.

Eva Clarke came to Britain from Czechoslovakia aged three with her mother. Both were camp survivors. She now lives in Cambridge and works for the Holocaust Educational Trust. She gives talks to schools in the UK and Europe about her family's experiences in the Holocaust and accompanies the HET's educational visits to Poland, including Auschwitz. She thus attempts to ensure that the profound message of the Holocaust is passed on to new generations.

The Optimists is a result of 12 years' research. It has won, among others, the Peace Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.

On Saturday 28 January, the campus will also host a workshop entitled Trauma and Memory in the 20th Century, organised by the University's Centre for Life History Research and the Centre for German-Jewish Studies. Guest speakers are: Lyn Smith, of Kingston, near Lewes, author of Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust, based on 25 years of interviews with survivors on behalf of the Imperial War Museum; Helen Bamber, who founded the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture after helping survivors at Belsen concentration camp; and Graham Dawson of the University of Brighton, who will speak about trauma, memory and conflict resolution with regard to the Irish Troubles.

The event runs from 9.15am to 1pm at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School lecture theatre on campus.

Notes for editors

The University of Sussex event is made possible by the generous support of the Association of Jewish Refugees. See http://www.ajr.org.uk/

The national Holocaust Memorial Day is on January 27, the date Auschwitz was liberated.

For directions to the campus, see http://www.sussex.ac.uk/about/campusmap.html

For further details contact: Diana Franklin 020 8381 4721 d.franklin@sussex.ac.uk or Chana Moshenska 01273 678837 c.moshenska@sussex.ac.uk

University of Sussex Press officers: Maggie Clune or Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678888 or email M.T.Clune@sussex.ac.uk or J.A.Bealing@sussex.ac.uk

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