York marks Holocaust Memorial Day with programme of events

Residents and visitors are invited to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2024 with a programme of commemorative events.

Holocaust Memorial Day occurs on 27 January every year to commemorate the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945.

It is an opportunity for people across the world to come together and reflect the horrific events of the Holocaust, and genocides and persecution worldwide.

Here in York, the events will commemorate the past, encourage positive action and explore this year’s national theme ‘Fragility of Freedom’.

The University of York will be holding an online lecture on Tuesday 23 January 6:30pm-7:30pm, where the story of Holocaust survivor Ruth Weiner’s incredible life and journey will be told. Barbara Warnock, from the Wiener Holocaust Library, will talk about how life changed for the Weiner family and showcase items from the unique collection.

On Saturday 27 January from 6:30pm, York Minster’s Chapter House will be lit up by 600 candles to commemorate the six million people who died in the Holocaust. This will follow choral evensong to which all are invited. The event will include light, music, readings, silence and space for quiet reflection.

The Lord Mayor and civic party will also be hosting the City of York Council’s annual civic event on Thursday 25 January, which will include readings and a theatre performance. This will take place at the Creative Centre at York St John University.

Cllr Katie Lomas, Executive Member for Human Rights, Equality and Inclusion at City of York Council, said:

It is important that, as a city, we come together to reflect and commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. It stands as an annual reminder of the atrocities of the past and an opportunity to look and work towards a peaceful future free from hatred.

“I hope as many people as possible can join in with the events next week as York marks this poignant day.”

Sam Borin, Holocaust Memorial Day Steering Committee Chair, said:

“Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the horrific events of the past and, this year, reminds us not to take our freedoms for granted.

“The events programme once again sees partners from across the city come together to reflect on the past and encourage positive action to promote peace. It reminds us that we can all play our part, no matter how small it seems.

“On behalf of the Holocaust Memorial Day Steering Group, I would like to thank everybody who makes these events happen.”

All events are free of charge.

For full details of all the events, visit:

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day and national events, visit: