Marking Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

Thursday 12 January 2023


The St Catharine’s community is invited to participate in activities – online and in person – to mark this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January,

Online event: ‘L’Chaim: A Toast to Life with Maurice Blik-In Conversation with Dr Gilly Carr’

A Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Dr Gilly Carr (2006), is hosting an online event in conversation with Maurice Blik, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, on 25 January.

Blik was taken, at just 4 years old, from his birthplace in Amsterdam when his family was sent to the camp. Finally liberated, aged 6, together with the remaining members of his family (his mother and older sister), he came to the UK, where he has lived ever since, and is established as a successful sculptor. Organised by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, the event will cover his memories of the camp, his life as a sculptor, and how his past has influenced his career. Booking for this online event is free and open to all.


Maurice Blik
Maurice Blik

Dr Carr commented, “It will be a pleasure and privilege to meet Maurice Blik. Given that it is now nearly 80 years since the liberation of the camps, very few of us will have the opportunity to meet or hear a Holocaust survivor again. Very soon, all we will have left is the sites of the Holocaust – the places of the former camps, ghettos, execution sites and mass graves – and it is vital that these places are safeguarded for the future. My research focuses on this process of safeguarding Holocaust sites, and I have been invited to speak about this at the European Commission's Holocaust Memorial Day event which this year takes place in Brussels on 23 January.”

Online event: Holocaust Remembrance Conference 

Dr Carr has also accepted an invitation from the European Commission to speak during its Holocaust Remembrance Conference on 23 January, which will be livestreamed for the public to watch. At 6.20pm (UTC+1) she will join a panel discussion on 'Where the Holocaust happened'.

Dr Carr is a University Associate Professor and Academic Director in Archaeology at the Institute of Continuing Education. She is also a member of the 12-strong UK delegation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and currently chairs an international five-year IHRA project on the subject of Holocaust and Roma genocide sites, entitled 'Safeguarding Sites: the IHRA Charter for best practice'. This project aims to create heritage guidelines for international adoption and runs from 2019–24.

Dr Gilly Carr speaking at the European Commission Holocaust Remembrance event 2023
Post-event update: Dr Carr shared photos from the European Commission session
Panel of speakers at the European Commission Holocaust Remembrance event 2023

Highlighting Holocaust Heritage

Dr Carr has also collaborated with artist Neda Ahmadi on an animated film to raise awareness of the need to safeguard Holocaust sites across Europe and the problems amongst site managers, politicians and people with such sites in their village and towns. It builds upon insights from the IHRA's Safeguarding Sites project and was created as part of the Cambridge Creative Encounters initiative.

Light the darkness

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust invites people from across the UK to light candles at 4pm on 27 January each year, putting them safely in their windows to “remember those who were murdered for who they were” and “stand against prejudice and hatred today.”

Since fire regulations prevent the use of candles in most areas of College, St Catharine’s students, staff and Fellows are instead able to:

  • Visit the Multifaith Prayer Room on the day, where electronic tea lights will be available for positioning in the window; or
  • Visit the Chapel between 9am and 4pm, where candles will be available and can be left safely on the heatproof tile provided.

Cover illustration by Ally Barrett for ‘Broken Gospel?: Christianity and the Holocaust’ by Peter M. Waddell. אי־כבוד (‘Ichabod’) in Hebrew is translated as ‘the glory is departed’.
Cover illustration by Ally Barrett (2019) for ‘Broken Gospel?: Christianity and the Holocaust’ by Peter M. Waddell. אי־כבוד (‘Ichabod’) in Hebrew is translated as ‘the glory is departed’.