Leeds ,

Leeds Town Hall to host city civic Holocaust Memorial Day event

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Judith Chapman will be hosting a city civic commemoration service at Leeds Town Hall from 2pm on Sunday 24 January to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Featuring in the programme during the afternoon will include a keynote speech by Nick Winton, son of Sir Nicholas Winton who rescued hundreds of Jewish children via the Kindertransport in the lead up to the Second World War, and music by Clothworkers Consort of Leeds. A very special performance of ‘Small Steps’ will also be made by Centre for Advanced Training students from the internationally renowned Academy of Northern Ballet, which inspired by discussions with Holocaust survivors, will reflect on the journeys to safety made by the children saved by the Kindertransport. The event will also include traditional candle lighting to commemorate all those who have been affected by the Holocaust and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.

With a theme this year of ‘Don’t Stand By,’ Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 is encouraging people to consider how they can choose not to be bystanders and to find more out about both the rescuers and resisters who have challenged cultures in which genocides were able to take place. Following the main event in Victoria Hall, there will also be a Q&A with Nick Winton that will provide members of the audience with the opportunity to find out more and be given an insight into his father’s life and work. Places at the Q&A must be pre-booked via the website http://tinyurl.com/HMD-NickWinton

An exhibition will also be on display at the Town Hall by Pyramid of Arts which created by a group of young adults with learning disabilities, responds to a theme of the Holocaust to create ‘Heroes’, which is a reaction to the Nazi propaganda posters that promoted a programme to euthanise people with disabilities.

The event is coordinated in Leeds by Arts Development, Leeds City Council. For more information, please visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure/Pages/Arts-Development.aspx.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Chapman said:

“Holocaust Memorial Day is a chance for people to come together to remember the Holocaust and also subsequent genocides in different parts of the world. The theme of ‘Don’t Stand By’ reminds us that individual actions are so important in challenging hatred and persecution, and ensuring such atrocities do not happen again.”

David Nixon OBE, Artistic Director of Northern Ballet and the Director the Academy of Northern Ballet said:

"We are privileged to be a part of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day event. Small Steps has been choreographed by Academy of Northern Ballet teacher Cara O’Shea and has been a valuable opportunity for our students to not only learn about a key period in history but to experience how stories such as these can be adapted and told through dance."

The event is coordinated in Leeds by Arts Development, Leeds City Council. Visit http://www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure/Pages/Arts-Development.aspx for more information.

Notes to editors:

Academy of Northern Ballet

The Academy of Northern Ballet is the official school of Northern Ballet and is the only recognised Centre for Advanced Training specialising in Classical Ballet in the UK. Training programmes are offered at professional level, for the professional dancers of the future, and a wide range of classes at recreational level are available for anyone from the age of 18 months up. The Academy has a dedicated Student Support team to offer the best possible support and advice and ensure that students have a safe and friendly environment in which to pursue their passion for dance.

Nick Winton

Nick Winton is the son of Sir Nicholas Winton, the celebrated organiser of the Kindertransport from Czechoslovakia before the Second World War.

Nick uses the moving account of how one man rescued 669 children and the desperate plight of families in the run-up to WW11 as an uplifting tale. Audiences recognise that they, individually, each one of them, can have a profound impact on the people around them.

Pyramid of Arts

The exhibition by Pyramid of Arts will be available to the public at Leeds Town Hall from Sunday 24th January to Friday 18th March.

About Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January 2016 is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

About the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is the charity established by the Government to promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day, encouraging and inspiring individuals and organisations across the UK to play their part in learning lessons from the past and creating a safer, better future.


For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk