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Holocaust Memorial Day with Steven Frank BEM

18 Jan 2021

Lansons Diversity Group champions a culture of diversity and conversation at Lansons. Since it’s inception, the team have discussed the importance of not only promoting culture and diversity internally, but also practicing what we preach and educating wider groups of people about some of the things that make us different.


As part of this, Lansons Diversity Group, hosted an event with the Holocaust Educational Trust, where we were joined by Holocaust Survivor Steven Frank BEM to share his personal story of growing up in Holland during the Holocaust and the atrocities that he and his family faced being a Jew in the 1930s and 40s. Steven’s testimony was a humbling experience for all who attended and reminded us of the dangers of hate and not understanding eachother.

It is important to remember that 76 years on from the Holocaust, antisemitism is still rife around the world and in the UK alone there were 1,805 antisemitic incidents in 2019, an increase of 7% on 2018’s findings.

As a Jew living in London in the 21st Century, it is sad that our synagogues must be surrounded by security to ensure our safety of prayer. It is scary, that in some places I must remove my skull cap for fear of being shouted at and that less than 80 years on from the holocaust, antisemitic tropes such as “Jews run the media”, “Jews run the banks” and confusion between Israeli Government policy and me being a Jew can still be slipped into day to day conversation – many unaware of the effects it can have on the person they are speaking to. We must all work together to eradicate the evil or antisemitism and other forms of races from our society as if not, who knows what our future will look like.

It is all our responsibility to be kind and respectful to one another, no matter race, religion or beliefs. Have the conversations, read more, learn more and together we will be able to form a more understanding and open society.

If you wish to read and learn more about the Holocaust, we have included some further follow up reading and watching below.

To read:

  • The Diary of Anne Frank (suitable for teens and adults)– by Anne Frank - Link - Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt am Maine in Germany in 1929. She is the author of The Diary of a Young Girl, which tells the remarkable true-story of a young, Jewish girl against the backdrop of the horrors of the Second World War.
  • The Choice - by Dr Edith Eger - Link - This is Dr Edith Eger's story – partly a memoir of an incredible life, but also a philosophy of recovery and empowerment that grew out of the horrors of her time in Auschwitz. As a young girl in a middle class Jewish family in Hungary, she and her family were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz.
  • Night – by Ellie Wiesel - Link - Night is a 1960 book by Elie Wiesel about his experience with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945, at the height of the Holocaust toward the end of the Second World War.
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz - by Heather Morris - Link - The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews, two ordinary people living in an extraordinary time, deprived of their freedom, their dignity, their families, and even their names replaced by numbers, and how they survived Auschwitz concentration camp.31 Jan 2018
  • Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktore Frankl - Link - Man's Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome.

To watch

  • Schindler’s List (1994) - In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.
  • The Pianist (2002) - A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.
  • Denial (2016) - Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel.
  • Defiance (2008) - Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavour to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.

We'd love to hear your feedback on this event and any future events you'd like to see from the Lansons Diversity Group.

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