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People and communities

Holocaust Memorial Day

Read more about Holocaust Memorial Day events taking place in York.

Clifford's Tower Commemoration

This event will take place on Thursday 16 March 2023 between 6.30pm to 7.30pm. It will be located at The Castle Museum, Tower Street, York YO1 9RY.

Commemoration of the 1190 massacre of York’s Jewish population at the site of York Castle at Clifford’s Tower, attended by the Lord Mayor, with music, guest speakers and contributions, concluding with prayer.

Entrance is free of charge, booking is not required and there is access for all. Please join us to recognise this important day in York’s history.

Contact email: for further details.

Read more about the Holocaust Memorial Trust.

Kemal Pervanić, survivor, Bosnia:

People may think that they have nothing to do with my story. But what happened to me, could happen to them – to people like yourself. It may sound too hard to believe but this doesn’t happen to strangers who live far away. I’m just an ordinary person. These terrible things can happen to people like us.


Illustration from irmina by Barbara Yelinillustration from Irmina by Barbara Yelin, Credit: SelfMadeHero © Barbara Yelin

January 2023

University of York Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture

This event was held on Tuesday 24 January, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. It was located in room RCH/037, Ron Cooke Hub, Campus East, University of York.

We commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 with a special in-person conversation with author Rebecca Clifford, in which Rebecca reflected on the creation of the remarkably moving book Survivors: Children’s Lives after the Holocaust.

How can we make sense of our lives when we do not know where we come from? This was a pressing question for the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, whose pre-war memories were vague or non-existent. In her beautifully written account, Rebecca Clifford follows the lives of one hundred Jewish children out of the ruins of conflict through their adulthood and into old age.

York Minster’s commemoration for Holocaust Memorial Day

This event was held on Wednesday 25 January, from 6.30pm at York Minster.

600 candles in the shape of the Star of David were lit at York Minster, to remember more than 6 million Jewish people and millions of other groups murdered by the Nazi’s in the Second World War, and the millions who have died in the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The event was held in York Minster Chapter House beginning at 6.30pm and included readings, music, poetry, prayers and periods of silence for quiet reflection. Guests were also invited to Choral Evensong in the Quire of York Minster which began at 5.30pm.

City of York Civic Event

This event took place on Thursday 26 January, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. It was held at the York St John Creative Centre, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York YO31 7EX.

City of York Council’s annual Civic Event hosted by the Lord Mayor and Civic party. Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 is embracing the national theme, ‘Ordinary People’. Genocide is facilitated by ordinary people. Ordinary people turn a blind eye, believe propaganda, join murderous regimes. And those who are persecuted, oppressed and murdered in genocide aren’t persecuted because of crimes they’ve committed – they are persecuted simply because they are ordinary people who belong to a particular group or country.

The schedule for the event included:

  • Welcome and Introduction Vice Chancellor, York St John, Prof. Karen Bryan
  • The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York Councillor David Carr
  • ‘The Jewish Wife’ theatre performance - York St John University Students
  • A voice from Ukraine - an eyewitness account of unfolding tragedy
  • Partner Statements - various York partners with affiliations to HMD
  • Reading of the Seven Commitments Candle Lighting

Follow Holocaust Memorial Day York on Facebook to find out more about Holocaust Memorial events for 2024.

Also see

Holocaust Memorial Day Project Coordinator

Liz Roberts

Telephone: 07873702852