Holocaust Memorial Day, marked on 27th January, is dedicated to those who suffered in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. This year’s theme is ‘the power of words’; focusing on the huge impact, good or bad, that spoken and written words can have, whether delivered by individuals, corporations, community organisations or the state.
We have put together a collection of resources that can be used in January to demonstrate the impact that words had in the Srebrenica genocide which saw 8,372 men and boys killed because of the group they belonged to.
The Sandwich Swap by Kelly DiPucchio and Queen Rania of Jordan
Lily and Salma are best friends. They like doing all the same things, and they always eat lunch together. Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummus-but what’s that between friends? It turns out, a lot. Before they know it, they are calling each other names like ‘smelly’ and ‘stupid’. Other children join in and soon the name calling turns into a food fight. Lily and Salma must embrace their differences to save their friendship and reunite the school.
Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipović
Zlata Filipović was just 11 years old when the Siege of Sarajevo began. She kept a diary of her daily life of a child in Sarajevo when food and water were scarce and most days it was too dangerous to leave the house. Zlata’s diary was published in 1993 and raised awareness of the conditions in Sarajevo and the hardships with citizens were forced to endure.
Surviving Srebrenica by Hasan Hasanović
Hasan Hasanović was a teenager in Srebrenica when the town fell to Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995. Alongside his father and twin brother, he decided to flee the town, following a treacherous 63 mile route through mountains and forest to free territory now known as the Death March. Hasanović survived the genocide which saw 8,372 men and boys killed, including his father and brother. He now shares his story several times a day at the Memorial Centre in Potoçari to ensure that the genocide in Srebrenica is not forgotten.
‘People heard the words of hate which led to violence. After violence we had killings’. Survivors of the Srebrenica genocide speak out about the propaganda and hate speech that preceded the genocide and began the cycle of hatred that led to 8,372 men and boys being killed in Srebrenica. This short two minute video shares the importance of our words and actions in creating a more cohesive community where hatred is challenged.