Our principal international partner is the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation, with whom we have partnered on a range of research and public engagement projects. These include the creation of a major public exhibition, which to date has toured South Africa, the USA and the UK, and which examines the way that Germany and other countries have confronted the past. We have also led workshops for teachers, curriculum advisors, members of the museum and heritage sectors and school children. Our joint projects continue to evolve and grow in ambition; most recently, we jointly curated a two week public events programme, Remembering the Holocaust and Genocide in the Digital Age, to mark the opening of the new Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre. The Foundation was established in 2007 and oversees the work of three Holocaust Centres in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. It is dedicated to providing support for the South African national curriculum and using the case study of the Holocaust to focus on human rights issues in contemporary society.
The UK’s National Holocaust Centre and Museum promotes an understanding of the roots of discrimination and prejudice, emphasising how current and future generations must carefully examine and learn from the Holocaust and other genocides. Our involvement with the Centre includes serving on their academic advisory board and doing joint projects, such as our travelling exhibition. We recently produced a number of films with a primary school in Manchester for a project called ‘What can we learn from the Holocaust?’.
The Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HFSA) is a Leeds-based charity with whom we have collaborated on many of our research and engagement projects. The organisation aims to preserve the memory, testimony and records of Holocaust survivors as a resource for teaching and learning, to counter prejudice and anti-Semitism and to encourage a more tolerant society where difference and diversity are celebrated.
Blah Blah Blah are a Leeds-based theatre company who specialise in making theatre for and with children and young people. Our collaboration with the Blahs has led to the creation of two new short plays, entitled Millions of Kisses and Falling to Our Knees, which were performed at the University and Leeds Town Hall to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in 2014 and 2015.
Other engagement activities include the publication of a translation of poetry written at the Dachau concentration camp and public events at the University of the Free State with the Afrikaans novelist Etienne van Heerden and at the University of Leeds with speakers including Marianne Hirsch, Leo Spitzer, Eva Hoffman and Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela.
Students performing Falling to our Knees at the University of Leeds on Holocaust Memorial Day 2015.