Barnsley Libraries launch Holocaust Memorial Day writing competition

Later this month, we will stand in solidarity with communities around the world in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2023, where we’ll remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust - along with the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution, and in the genocide regimes which followed.   

In recognition of Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on Friday, 27 January, we’ve put together a Holocaust event and activity programme to provide an opportunity for all generations to learn more about the past, feel empathy and honour the survivors. It’s also an opportunity to think about the prejudices prevalent today and be inspired to create a safer future for communities across our borough and beyond.

As part of the programme of events, our fabulous library services, in partnership with Off the Shelf, are delighted to launch a special writing competition open to any Barnsley resident aged 18 years or over, to reflect, be creative and express their thoughts. We’d like to see entries focus on this year’s theme, ‘ordinary people’, highlighting that it was ordinary people who were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust and the genocides that followed. This includes perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses and, of course, the poor victims – they were all ordinary people.

Entries should be no more than 500 words and can be written as a poem or short story. The deadline is 5pm on Friday, 27 January. Entries can be emailed to or handed in to any of our local branches. The winner, who will be announced on Friday, 3 February, will receive a prize and be acknowledged for their work. For further details on how to enter, including full terms and conditions, please visit the competition webpage.

We will also be welcoming guest speakers throughout the week leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day at Library @ the Lightbox and online, sharing insights, stories and reflections in memory and remembrance of the Holocaust and genocides that followed.

Please click on the links below for more information on how to book a place for any of the events listed:

A conversation with Peter Bradley

Monday, 23 January, 2pm to 3pm at Library @ the Lightbox.

Join author Peter Bradley as he talks about his book, The Last Train: A Family History of the Final Solution, which talks about his family’s escape from Nazi Germany and the horrors of the concentration camps.

Lucy Adlington and The Dressmakers of Auschwitz’

Thursday, 26 January, 6pm to 7pm, online event.

Join Lucy as she talks about her book and the history of the young women who sewed to survive as they were pulled from Auschwitz to make clothes for the wives of the Nazi elite.

Marta Seiler talks about surviving the Holocaust and Stalin

Friday, 27 January 2023, 2pm to 3pm at Library @ the Lightbox

Join Marta as she talks about her family history, where, as Hungarian Jews, they faced persecution of the very worst kind from their own government and Nazi Germany. Marta talks about how she rediscovered her forbidden Jewish identity, found her place within the community and moved toward a place of tolerance.

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