Past Events
We started in 2015 on the theme of The Survival of the Human Spirit, focusing on the fate of those deported to Theresienstadt ghetto. Speeches, a klezmer band, poetry reading by students from Priory School and a packed audience in the White Hart Hotel.

On a still winter’s night on January 27 2020 we held a lantern-lit vigil on Cliffe Bridge, with a series of moving readings and short speeches, and read the Kaddish (Jewish prayer for the dead).

In 2016 we held our main event in Lewes Town Hall, with a varied programme of events including music composed in 1940 by Holocaust victim Hans Neumeyer

We have twice organised exhibitions about refugees in shop windows, the length of Lewes’ long high street.

Workshops on writing haiku and prose, a concert at St John sub Castro featuring choirs, bands and soloists, feature films and a short made by a local film-maker are just some of our activities from past years. 

Our 2022 events

The national theme for 2022 was One Day.   

The organisers would like to thank Lewes Town Council, Lewes District Council and Depot cinema for their generous support.

Our events:
  • We had our usual window display in Lewes Tourist Information Centre.
  • Exhibition of paintings in Depot Cinema reflecting on the One Day theme.
  • Lantern-lit vigil on Cliffe Bridge: more than a hundred braved a January night on Holocaust Memorial Day – though actually the weather was remarkably benign – and stood in silence while poems and the Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for the dead) were read. We dropped flowers into the river and concluded with a two-minute silence.
  • Film at Depot: Final Account, an extraordinary documentary comprising hitherto unseen seen interviews with the last generation of everyday people who lived participated in Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. It was made by the late Luke Holland, who lived in Ditchling. The film was followed by discussion and a lively Q&A with the capacity audience with the assistant director, Sam Pope. We also publicised screenings of Tom Stoppard’s play Leopoldstadt.
  • Christine Cohen Park, writer and workshop convenor, led a small group event at Depot’s Studio room to reflect on oppression in its many forms
  • Talks in Trinity St John sub Castro about their family stories. Jackie Stimpson on her family’s flight from the Armenian genocide and her desire for Britain to recognise the atrocity as a genocide; Simon Confino on the discovery of how the Holocaust devastated his on the day he first saw the new Holocaust Galleries at the Imperial War Museum; Tim Locke with an illustrated presentation on what the so-called Kristallnacht meant to his mother’s family in Nazi Germany and afterwards. All three were interviewed on Holocaust Memorial Day by BBC Southeast Today for the 6.30pm television news about their family experiences. You can see the interview here.
  • A music and poetry evening at Depot cinema, with Adrienne Thomas and friends, against the backdrop of the art exhibition.

Lewes Holocaust Memorial Day Group