In a visual society, the way we view and comprehend what is around us can often be taken for granted, and our relationship with objects and images can be fleeting and transitory.
This microsite aims to look beyond what we see on the surface. The items featured are seemingly commonplace, but through further exploration they reveal the harrowing journeys and heartbreaking experiences of their owners before, during, and in some instances after, the Holocaust.
By tracing the journeys these objects have been on, it is possible to develop a greater understanding of the Holocaust and its complexities, as well as cast a light on its lesser-known aspects and share previously unknown testimonies.
This unprecedented project has been embarked on by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) – the charity established by the UK government to promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK, and The National Holocaust Centre and Museum — the world’s only place of Holocaust learning founded by Christians and an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation, in partnership with the Jewish Museum of Greece.
An enormous thank you to International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), The Leon Greenman Charitable Trust, and Arts Council England for their support in enabling this project to be realised.
Please explore, learn, and educate.
To note:Engaging with these stories and artefacts may prompt an emotional reaction. We can be motivated by these responses to think about the relevance of these stories today, and what we can do to make the world a safer place for everyone. You may wish to consider doing some or all of the following:
— Tell other people about this site, so they can learn about Eda, Daniel, Julie and Julius too.— Make a commitment to always mark Holocaust Memorial Day.— Raise awareness about refugees currently fleeing conflict, persecution and danger.— Organise a fundraising activity for unwanted clothing and blankets to send to a refugee camp. (Visit helprefugees.org for information on how to donate money or items.)
The Nazis planned the mass-deporation of European Jews to extermination camps in German-occupied Poland. The Jews were forced to gather at local sites, such as a synagogue or town square, and then crammed onto freight or passenger trains, with limited or no food or sanitary conditions. Journeys often lasted several days, and sometimes they took a few weeks. Many of those packed onto these trains died during the journey to the camps through starvation or overcrowding.