The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) and the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) have launched a significant new digital resource to enrich teaching and learning about the Holocaust: The UK Holocaust Map.
The new website, www.ukholocaustmap.org.uk helps communities across the country learn about their local connections to the Holocaust, Jewish refugees and British responses to Nazism.
Lord Pickles, Head of the UK Delegation and the UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, was an early supporter of the initiative. “Sites all across the UK help to tell the story of the Holocaust and British responses to Nazism, yet many of these are shrouded in obscurity,” he said. “The UK Holocaust Map inspires users of all ages to discover the places, personal stories and archival records which highlight that Holocaust history is – without a doubt – British history.”
Alex Maws, Head of Educational Grants and Projects at the AJR and member of the UK delegation to the IHRA, commented: “Recommendations for teaching and learning about the Holocaust published in 2019 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) encourage the study of the local dimension of the Holocaust. This is perhaps much easier for teachers to accomplish in countries that were occupied by the Nazis or which collaborated. In Britain, this guidance is often overlooked, in large part because teachers themselves are not aware of the many local aspects they could be including in their lessons. The UK Holocaust Map helps to rectify that.”
UK Holocaust Map encourages study of the Holocaust's local impact in the UK and partnerships among organizations
Research has shown that over the years, the absence of this topic from most teachers’ schemes of work has contributed to a problem in Britain’s conceptions about the Holocaust, that it was something that happened elsewhere, and that this country’s only roles were as rescuers and liberators.
The map brings together content from numerous archives, museums and institutions across the country. The significance of each map location is highlighted through testimony extracts, archival documents and photos.
At the time of its launch, the map already features nearly 400 pinned locations, and the AJR, which will oversee the map, is eager to see it expand. At an online launch event attended by more than 100 stakeholders, the AJR appealed to institutions and local researchers to contribute new content to it.
Michael Newman, Chief Executive of the AJR and member of the UK delegation to the IHRA, said: “One of the key aims of the AJR’s educational work in recent years is to encourage partnerships among organizations in the sector, and we see The UK Holocaust Map as one significant manifestation of that spirit of partnership. Critically, the map will complement – rather than seek to replace – existing educational resources and programs.”
The Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities is responsible for the delivery of the new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre next to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster and is advised by The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation. DLUHC’s sponsorship of The UK Holocaust Map makes a powerful statement that its work to promote Holocaust memory extends far beyond central London, into every other region of the country.