Students Staff

12 January 2017

Holocaust Memorial Week 2017

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Communications, CER @ 1:47 pm

Since 2007 the University of Essex has marked Holocaust Memorial Day with a series of events taking place during the week that leads up to or includes 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet troops.

The week provides a focus for remembering the millions of people killed in the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in countries such as Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. It is also an opportunity for us to look at human rights issues, and lessons still to be learned by the Holocaust.

For more information email, or telephone: 873270.

17 January – 18 February 2017


This event marks the start of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Week, and will be opened by Professor Rainer Schulze, at the launch event on Thursday 19 January from 6pm-8pm.

Photographer and video artist Ori Gersht turns his lens on sites of collective trauma, violence and loss, examining the power of time and landscape to preserve and erase history.

This exhibition features ‘Evaders’, a two channel film and series of photographs which trace the journey used by the German-Jewish writer and philosopher, Walter Benjamin on his ill-fated journey in 1940 to escape Nazi-occupied France across the Pyrenees.

The clear visual references to German Romanticism in Gersht’s ‘Evaders’, particularly to the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, are suggestive of a fatal attachment to German culture that prevented Walter Benjamin, like many others, from grasping the horrific scope of the Nazi agenda until it was too late to escape its consequences. Gersht skillfully combines this history with his own more recent cultural upheavals and current concerns over Europe’s border controls or the lack of them.

‘Evaders’ is accompanied by photographs from the ‘White Noise’ series which also take a journey as their starting point – the train journey from Krakow to Auschwitz. Gersht photographed the scenes from his train window using a slow shutter speed, allowing the images to blur and slip away like memories in the process of forgetting.

Ori Gersht was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel and now lives and works in London.

Guest-curated by Sanna Moore.

Thursday 19 January

Launch – Ori Gersht:Evaders

Opened by Professor Rainer Schulze, Emeritus Professor, the Deparment of History.

6pm-8pm Art Exchange. Free admission and all welcome.

Wednesday 25 January

THINK debate on refugees

2pm, Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall

Don Kipper

Lakeside Theatre, 7.30pm

Join the award-winning klezmer ensemble for a special Holocaust Memorial Day performance.

Uncover the world of Eastern European Jewish and Roma music making, from hectic hongas and frantic freylekhs, to tranquil Dobridens and soulful Doinas. Over the course of the evening Don Kipper will tell you stories of great Klezmer musicians (the Klezmorim) of the past, bringing  to life that tradition and giving voice to  the music of the many minorities who were victims of the holocaust.

Don Kipper attempt to root themselves deeply in the traditions that surround them. They seek to explore radical interpretations and taut arrangements full of complex harmonies, rhythms and imaginative improvisation.

“So tight it sounds like one divine entity is playing the band”

Max Reinhardt (Late Junction, BBC Radio 3)

In advance:

UOE Students £6 / Conc £9 / Full £13

Thursday 26 January

Lunchtime Tour

To coincide with Holocaust  Memorial Week, Jess Twyman will lead a tour of the exhibition, offering insights into the ideas explored in Ori Gersht’s work.

1.15 – 1.45pm, Art Exchange

Dora Love Prize – Separate to Holocaust Memorial Week

Dora Love, a Holocaust survivor, spent much of her life raising awareness that the attitudes which made the Holocaust possible – intolerance, discrimination and outright hatred of those who are regarded as ‘different’ for whatever reason – are still alive all around us. Whilst the specific circumstances of the Holocaust are unlikely to recur, we need to learn from the past in order to act responsibly in the present and shape a joint future for all where no one is excluded.

Dora Love died on 26 October 2011, and the Dora Love Prize continues her work. It is awarded each year for the best Holocaust awareness project by an individual pupil or group of pupils of a school in Essex or Suffolk. Currently it is only open to years 7 to 10. The Prize goes to the project which expresses best that which was most important to Dora Love: speaking up against hatred wherever it occurs, never forgetting the ultimate consequence of seemingly small acts of discrimination and developing a sense of personal responsibility.

The Dora Love Prize evening, when participating schools from Essex and Suffolk present their projects ending with the award of the Prize, always takes place in the week leading up to or including Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet troops in 1945.

Lakeside Theatre,  7pm.

Friday 27 January – Holocaust Memorial Day

Reading of names

11.50am-4.10pm, Square 3, Colchester campus

We would like volunteers to read the names – if you would like to take part in this commemoration, please contact our events team on ext 3270 or email

Reading of names of those who perished in the Holocaust and other genocides. From 10 minutes to and 10 minutes past each hour between 11.50am and 4.10pm.

As a symbolic gesture we will read the names of victims of the Holocaust and other genocides every hour in Square 3 from 11.50am to 4.10pm, from ten minutes to the hour to ten minutes past the hour and we are looking for volunteers from our staff and students to read names for around five minutes in any of those time slots.

The spirit of this act of remembrance is perhaps best expressed by David Berger, himself a victim of the Holocaust who was killed, at the age of 19, in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1941. He said, ‘If something happens, I would want there to be somebody who would remember that someone named D. Berger had once lived.  This  will make things easier for me in the difficult moments.’ The reading of names is very informal and people will listen (or not) as they pass by through Square 3. The emphasis is not on correct pronunciation but more the fact that they are being remembered by us today. Every name we read out represents the many whose names we do not know.

If you would like to contribute to this commemoration, please email to let us know your availability, so that we can prepare a rota for the day.

Service led by Colchester and District Jewish Community to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

A short service based on the Friday evening synagogue service with readings and reflections. 
Lakeside Theatre, 7.30pm

Thursday 2 February

Artist’s Talk

Artist Ori Gersht will join us for an evening of debate and conversation. Focusing on the artworks on display, Ori will expand on the ideas that inform his production.

6pm-7pm, Art Exchange

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