Funding confirmed for major Holocaust Heritage Centre

Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre for the North of England

Fri, 22 Jul 2016 13:35:00 BST

The Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre for the North of England is being developed in conjunction with Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association

Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre for the North of England NEW funding of almost £1 million means that the University of Huddersfield will join with the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association to create a major centre for memorialisation of the Holocaust.

The University’s Heritage Quay archive will house the Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre for the North of England.  As a repository for memories and physical artefacts from the large numbers of Holocaust survivors and their families in Yorkshire, it will attract at least 20,000 visitors annually, including school parties.  It is expected that the Centre will be open to the public from October, 2017.

Plans for the Centre were first revealed in May 2015.  They will now go ahead after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced an award of £604,000 to the Leeds-based Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA).  Also, the Pears Foundation has awarded £100,000 and the Association of Jewish Refugees has granted £50,000.  Individual donations take the total funding to over £900,000.

Lilian Black The HSFA is chaired by Lilian Black (pictured), who is delighted by the HLF announcement.

“The legacy of the Holocaust survivors in Yorkshire is now secure and will be made available to pupils, students and the wider community for teaching and learning,” she said.

Ms Black, whose father Eugene survived Nazi persecution and genocide, delivered the 2016 Holocaust Memorial Lecture, which is an annual fixture at the University of Huddersfield.

“There has never been a more important time for us all to work together to combat all forms of persecution,” she said.  “The membership of the Association knows only too well where discrimination leads and it is their dearest wish to make sure our past is not our future.

Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre for the North of England “The breadth of support we have received has been amazing, ranging from individuals, companies, charitable trusts and of course our partners and the University of Huddersfield.  Thank you everybody for making this a reality – it is an expression of our faith in humanity and that good will prevail ultimately.”

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, Professor Bob Cryan, said: “We are delighted to be partners with HSFA in this vitally important project.  We look forward to the development of the Learning Centre here at the University to the benefit of children, young people and communities across the North of England and further afield, ensuring learning about the Holocaust for generations to come.”

The Centre will provide a permanent home for memories and artefacts of the many survivors and their families who have lived in Yorkshire.  They include people who were refugees or in hiding from the Nazis, who were herded into ghettos, or sent to concentration and death camps.  There were also many who escaped to Britain via on the Kindertransport.

Material such as diaries, letters, clothing such as camp uniforms and film footage, plus the personal testaments of survivors will be included in the Centre.  Heritage Quay, where it will be housed, is an award-winning archive centre, established as one of the best in the Higher Education sector and uniquely accessible to the public.

The bodies that have supported the new Centre have confirmed the importance of the project:

  • Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Holocaust survivors in Yorkshire bear a living witness to some of the most significant and horrific moments of the 20th century.  We are delighted that National Lottery players are able to support the creation of this Centre, to provide a permanent legacy for survivors as well as a space for people to reflect on these events and learn from them.”
  • Trevor Pears, Chair of the Pears Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this new Centre.  Its location in Huddersfield, as part of a vibrant university campus, fills a very clear national gap in provision and will create tremendous opportunities for partnerships and collaboration, as well as educating the next generation.”
  • Andrew Kaufman, Chairman of The Association of Jewish Refugees, said: “It gives us great pleasure to sponsor this dynamic project that will deepen and enhance Holocaust education and memorialisation in the UK and which reflects our intention to perpetuate the legacy of Holocaust refugees and survivors who made new lives in this country.”

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