The University of Huddersfield is set to become a major regional centre for study of the Holocaust, following a £520,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Leeds-based Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA) will create the Holocaust Heritage and Learning Centre for the North at the University’s Heritage Quay, which was itself developed with £1.6m from the HLF.
The centre will enable teachers, schoolchildren, students, community groups, academics and individuals to learn more about the atrocity via photographs, digital testimonies, records of persecution, family letters and artefacts.
The funding award coincides with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps, including Bergen Belsen, entered by the British army in April, 1945.
The University is already the setting for an annual Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture, which has been delivered by survivors who found refuge in the north.
Professor Tim Thornton, the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, said the centre would give people more immediate access and a better engagement with the survivor heritage than they have at the moment.
He said: “There is a commitment across the political spectrum to ensure that the witness represented by the survivors will go on. Unfortunately there are people who try to deny it or choose to ignore it, so it is very important that we continue to engage with the evidence.”
Lilian Black, chairman of the HSFA said: “Over recent years we have been able to collect digital testimony, gather thousands of photographs and access survivors’ records of Nazi persecution through the International Tracing Service in Germany. We have built strong partnerships in the UK and internationally which can now be brought together in a wonderful community resource at Heritage Quay within the University of Huddersfield, all thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund.”