The German post-war philosopher Theodor Adorno said of the Holocaust: “The only response to such an earth-shattering event is silence, yet we somehow need to commemorate it and attempt to understand it.“ And each year, that is what Holocaust Memorial Day aims to do. This year’s theme is Keep the Memory Alive.

Memories from the Ukraine

The London Jewish Cultural Centre in Ivy House will be holding a special evening with Helena Kaut-Howson, a child Holocaust survivor and now an internationally acclaimed theatre and opera director, her son Nicholas, a musician with the BBC Philharmonic, and actor Dame Janet Suzman.

Helena’s moving account of her recent trip to the Ukraine to retrace her mother’s footsteps, including the former Gestapo prison where she was held for five months, will be accompanied by music played by Nicholas on the viola, and Dame Janet will read extracts from Helena’s mother’s diary.

  • Memories from the Ukraine is at the London Jewish Cultural Centre, Ivy House, North End Road, Golders Green on Tuesday, January 27 at 7.30pm. Details: 020 8457 5000,

Love is Always the Answer

Finchley resident Miriam Freedman is a Holocaust survivor from Bratislava, in what was then Czechoslovakia, and she has released a book about her experiences.

Love is Always the Answer begins by sharing her childhood experience of hiding for months in a basement during the Holocaust as many of her family members were murdered, then living in Israel during its formation, and finally of moving to London, where she became a teacher of yoga and spiritual arts. Where this memoir differs from many others dealing with this period is in Miriam’s account of how her life subsequently changed through the remarkable spiritual experiences she had after meeting a Russian spiritual teacher, Irina Tweedie, who helped Miriam awaken love in her heart. The book chronicles the spiritual friendship between the two women

  • Love is Always the Answer is available now from Miriam will be talking about her book on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme on Sunday, January 25.

Witness the Witness

The Jewish Museum London will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps with a series of Holocaust survivor speaker events.

The series opens to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day in January and concludes around the time of the anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen on April 15 and Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Ha Shoah, on April 15 and 16.

Holocaust survivors Zdenka Fantlova, Vera and Avram Schaufeld, Gerta Vrbova and Eva Schloss will give their testimony and each talk will be followed by a question and answer session. This is an opportunity to hear eyewitness accounts of events which will soon be beyond living memory.

  • Witness the Witness is at the Jewish Museum London, Albert Street, NW1 from Sunday, January 25 to Sunday, April 12. Details:

Imperial War Museum

This year, Holocaust Memorial Day will see the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Visitors to the Imperial War Museum can be reminded of the wider history of the Nazi persecution programme and its terrible consequences in the museum’s exhibitions and programme of events.

The award-winning Holocaust Exhibition uses film, photographs, testimony and rare artefacts to document the history of the Nazi persecution and murder of Jews and other groups before and during the Second World War.

It explores the rise of the Nazi party and covers the perversion of science to support Nazi race theory, the isolation of German Jews, the refugee crisis and the advent of so-called ‘euthanasia’ policies, as well as the history of how persecution turned to annihilation through starvation in ghettos, mass shootings and the establishment of extermination camps.

Items on display include photographs, documents, newspapers, artefacts, posters, archival film, toys, diaries, storybooks, hand-made mementoes.

  • The Holocaust Exhibition is at the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, Lambeth, now. Details: 020 7416 5000,