Stories of Holocaust survivors from the North of England will be given a new home, thanks to over £600,000 of funding awarded to the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA) from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Thanks to support from National Lottery players, the project will deliver a new Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre, attracting a minimum of 20,000 visitors annually. The physical heritage of the survivors – testimonies, literature, artefacts and evidence of Nazi persecution –will be secured in perpetuity, and explained and interpreted with new displays and exhibitions.
Many survivors, and their families, now live or have lived in Yorkshire. Their stories are some of the most important accounts of the most significant events of the 20th century, yet at present have no permanent home. This new project will provide a space at Heritage Quay, within the University of Huddersfield, for them to be preserved, interpreted and explored, and will create a lasting and permanent legacy for survivors and their families.
People are at the heart of this project. Tours, school and community seminars and teacher education provision will help people learn more about the Holocaust, and its impact on the people of Yorkshire, the UK and the world. School children will have opportunities to use creative and performing arts to interpret the stories held at the centre.
Lilian Black, chair of the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association said: “The HSFA is delighted with the decision by HLF to support the establishment of a permanent Holocaust Learning Centre for the north of England. 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. There has never been a more important time for us all to work together to combat all forms of persecution. 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.”
Fiona Spiers, head of HLF 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.”