Loughborough University
ARTICLE Dapim Full V3.pdf (243.95 kB)

‘If not me, then who?’ Examining engagement with Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in Britain

Download (243.95 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2017-07-07, 15:21 authored by John Richardson
This article explores what motivates ordinary people to become involved with commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). Whilst there is an expanding academic literature on HMD, public commemoration and the memory work (and politics) of remembrance, a great deal of this commentary and analysis is offered from the first-hand perspective of academics writing about large scale public memorial or museum projects. There is, in contrast, very little published that examines small-scale public participation with HMD, including why people get involved in organising their own commemorative activities. Since 2005, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) has been responsible for organising and promoting HMD commemoration in Britain and, as part of this brief, they organise free workshops across the UK for people interested in organising an activity to mark HMD. This article analyses interviews with the organisers and participants of three workshops that took place during the build up to HMD 2016. In this article, I focus in particular on the ways that interviewees orientate to questions of conscience, and the ways that their personal and political values accord with the aims of HMD. My paper suggests that pedagogic and political potentials of HMD are more varied than academic analysis has thus far suggested, and that further work is needed to explore the engagement of ordinary people in HMD commemoration.


This research was funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust


RICHARDSON, J.E., 2017. ‘If not me, then who?’ Examining engagement with Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in Britain. Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, 32 (1), pp.22-37.


Taylor and Francis © The Institute for Holocaust Research, at the University of Haifa


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust on 22 March 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/23256249.2018.1432253.

Acceptance date


Publication date







  • en