The Power of Words – HMD 2018

15 January 2018

Written by: Lambeth Council

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Annual National Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January is a national commemoration and a multi-community event. Lambeth has held a Holocaust Memorial Day each year since 2001.

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The Power of Words – HMD 2018

Lambeth has held a Holocaust Memorial Day each year since 2001 and will be hosting this year’s event at the Oval in Kennington on 21 January.

Words  make a difference for good and evil

27 January is the day for everyone to remember the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and the millions of people killed in Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

The Power of Words

The ‘Power of Words’ theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 explores how language has been used, and how it is used in the present day. Holocaust Memorial Day focuses focus on the impact words had in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides – through propaganda used to incite hatred, through slogans written in resistance, and through memoirs written to record and respond to what was going on. Words are part of both free speech and censorship.


Holocaust Memorial Day also brings people together to remember the lessons that must never be forgotten. This year’s event is:

Sunday, 21 January 2018

 3pm to 4.30pm (doors open 2.30pm)

The Ashes Suite

The Kia Oval



SE11 5SS

(entrance via Alec Stewart Gate)

Words from history

The power of words is reflected in words written by Anne Frank in her Diary – how writing about her feelings gave her power over them, and her hope that her words would inspire readers.

“I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I am so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s in me. When I write I can shake off all my cares; my sorrow disappears; my spirits are revived.’

Words now

Today, bombarded with information and relentless media, we may find ourselves filtering words out and hearing only words which reinforce our prejudices. Are we equipped to recognise propaganda and respond? We cannot be complacent. We see headlines, we listen to politicians and have a responsibility to read and listen critically. Words travel faster and further than ever; they can unite people to achieve positive goals but can also be used to whip up prejudice and to intimidate people.

For more information

  • The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT)

HDMT is the charity that promotes and supports Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). See more about their work via the HMD contact page.

  • International Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day

The name in Hebrew of the day commemorating victims of the Holocaust is “Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah”— literally translated as the “Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.” It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It is on the 27th day in the month of Nisan — a week after the end of the Passover holiday and a week before Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers).