by | 18 January 2022 | Blog, News

HGRP: A Look Back at Our First Year

In our first blog post of 2022, HGRP Programme Co-ordinator Dr Imogen Dalziel reflects on the challenges and successes of the past year.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant the introduction of the Holocaust and Genocide Research Partnership (HGRP) in January 2021 was a much quieter (and more virtual) affair than initially hoped. Indeed, were it not for the pandemic, the Partnership would have been launched publicly in 2020, to coincide with the 75th liberation anniversaries of camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen. The Partnership’s planned programme of activities therefore had to adapt to the digital realm – starting with a physical exhibition.

Death Marches: Evidence and Memory was due to go on display at The Wiener Holocaust Library and the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre in early 2021. Due to lockdown restrictions, however, the exhibition could not open to the public until mid-May and early June respectively. In the meantime, the HGRP had to think of ways to bring the exhibition to a virtual audience. This was achieved – as far as possible – with a gallery walk-through film, ‘Curators’ Spotlight’ clips and a series of virtual events. We were delighted to be joined by scholars, artists and educators for four themed panel discussions, and honoured to hear the testimony of death march survivors Susan Pollack, Iby Knill, Trude Silman and Manfred Goldberg at our launch event and ‘in conversation’ talks. The HGRP also hosted a private online screening of the documentary Death March: A Survivor’s Story for university students, and hybrid student and educator workshops at the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre. You can catch up on all our exhibition films and event recordings via the playlist on our YouTube channel.

In addition to the Death Marches programme, the HGRP hosted several one-off events. These included book talks with Dr Anna Hájková, Professor Wendy Lower and Dr Alex Kay; a presentation given by Dr Erin Jessee; and the second annual Alfred Wiener Holocaust Memorial Lecture, delivered by Professor Jan Grabowski. The Lecture marked our first public hybrid event – our physical audience at the Museum of London and livestream viewers totalled more than 500 people! These events are also available to watch on our YouTube channel. Additionally, as part of our mission to bridge the gap between academic research into, and public knowledge of, the Holocaust and genocide, we have incorporated key references mentioned by speakers into our events. These appear in the Zoom chat during the live event and can be found in the video description of all recordings.

We are very much hoping that 2022 will prove to be a more settled year, and look forward to announcing more events and activities in the near future. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all the latest updates.

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you at an HGRP event soon!