Holocaust Memorial Day

Display of books and posters for HMD

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is observed on 27 January each year – the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. On that date, we remember the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution, and those who have died in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

What is genocide?

The General Assembly of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Dec 9th 1948) defines genocide as:

‘any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

killing members of the group

causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group

deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part

imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group

forcibly transferring children of the group to another group’

UN General Assembly, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 9 December 1948, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 78, p. 277

Within our library, you can find a variety of books relating to the Holocaust, ranging from picture books suitable for young children to academic essays. Many of the books draw from the words of individuals telling their own stories, which is something we at the Centre feel is very important and reflects our core values, and which also links in with this year’s HMD theme of ‘One Day’.

Here are some titles which we have selected to form part of our HMD display – please drop in and check them out, and browse our shelves for further reading material. (We’ve included the catalogue number to help you find these and similar books on our shelves)

Books for children

Anne Frank written by Ma Isabel Sánchez Vegara; illustrated by Sveta Dorosheva.

This book in the Little People, Big Dreams series tells the story of Anne Frank using simple text and large simple images, suitable for younger children.

HI.2/VEG (Children’s)

Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust. Loic Dauvillier translated by Alexis Siegel, Marc Lizano (Illustrator), Greg Salsedo (Inker)

Graphic novel in which a grandmother shares her experiences as a child in Nazi-occupied France, suitable for fairly young children

HI.2/DAU (Children’s)

Hiding from the Nazis David A Adler

True account of a young Jewish child in hiding in Holland during the Nazi invasion

Simply told with large illustrations, suitable for older primary school and upwards

HI.2/ADL (Children’s)

Passage to freedom : the Sugihara story  written by Ken Mochizuki ; illustrated by Dom Lee ; afterword by Hiroki Sugihara.

The story of Chiune Sugihara, who helped thousands of Jews to flee German-occupied territory in Europe by issuing transit visas to them at great personal risk.

Illustrated throughout. Suitable for children

HI.2/MOC (Children’s)

Hidden : true stories of children who survived World War II Marcel Prins & Peter Henk Steenhuis.

First person accounts from children who had to go into hiding during World War Two

Includes photographs. Suitable for older children

HI.2/PRI (Children’s).

Older children/adults

Survival: Holocaust survivors tell their story Foreword by Sir Martin Gilbert; edited by Wendy Whitworth.

Stories from Holocaust survivors including poetry and photographs (portrait and family) Suitable for older children and adults


Forgotten voices of the Holocaust  Lyn Smith.

Anthology of interview extracts organised chronologically

Suitable for older children/adults – as each extract is quite short, they are useful as a focus for discussion


The world of Anne Frank  compiled by the Anne Frank House ; foreword by Julia Neuberger.

Collection of photographs with some explanatory text, giving historical perspective on the story of Anne Frank.


Children’s Drawings from the Concentration Camp of Terezίn

A collection of artwork and poetry created by children imprisoned in the concentration camp at Terezίn, along with excerpts from magazines which they secretly issued.

Suitable for children and adults.


Boy 30529: A Memoir  Felix Weinberg

The true story of a Jewish child who survived five concentration camps before building a new life in Britain.

Suitable for older children and adults


Adult readers

Hořίcί Nebesa (The Burning Skies) Jiřί Fränkl

The memoirs of a Jewish teacher and Holocaust Survivor from Czechoslovakia who recounts his experiences during the Holocaust. This book includes both the original Czech and the English translation.


A Holocaust Reader Michael L Morgan

Collection of philosophical, theological and political essays on issues raised by the Holocaust.

Suitable for general readers as well as academics.


The Role of Righteous Muslims Edited by Fiyaz Mughal and Esmond Rosen

Pamphlet looking at the role of Muslims who risked their lives to save Jews during the Second World War


For more about Holocaust Memorial Day, visit the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website, where you will find resources including life stories of survivors and those who were murdered, virtual activities, schools materials, films, images  and this marvellous exhibition of photographs on the theme of ‘One Day’