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A picture of the gates to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

News story

St Helens Borough Council and Edge Hill University commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2023

January 27, 2023

A compelling public art exhibition created by an Edge Hill University academic and local primary school pupils will be among the poignant gestures marking Holocaust Memorial Day in St Helens.

Pupils from Nutgrove Methodist Primary School worked with Professor of Theatre Helen Newall to create figures that will form a new art installation to remember the millions who perished in the holocaust during World War II.

The installation is supported by St Helens Borough Council and will launch at Thatto Heath Library on Friday 27 January at 2pm where a candle-lighting ceremony will also take place. The exhibition will be available to view until Friday 17 February. 

A picture of small clay figures done in the style of artwork created by Nandor Gild.

Professor Helen Newall said: “The figures the children made were inspired by the commemorative work of Yugoslav artist, Nandor Glid who survived Auschwitz, and forced labour.

“After the war, he went on to become an artist, creating stark and beautiful memorial sculptures, one of which stands today in the yard at Dachau Camp Memorial Site. The children and I looked at his work and talked about memory and remembrance, after which they worked very hard to create the beautiful clay figures collected together in this memorial.

“There are also fragments of text on the memorial taken from the prayer created in 2020 by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Senior Imam Qari Asim and which is intended for use by people of any faith in their Holocaust Memorial Day activities.”

Held every year on 27 January, Holocaust Memorial Day falls on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where more than a million people were killed.

In total, six million Jewish men, women and children were murdered in the Holocaust – while millions of others were killed in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.  

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, Councillor Anthony Burns, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity to reflect and remember the countless lives that have been lost throughout history as a result of mass genocide because of ethnicity and religious views, among other things.  

“Thank you to the pupils of Nutgrove Methodist Primary School who have shown maturity beyond their years for putting together an excellent exhibition to raise awareness of one of the darker moments of history – proving that the victims of atrocities like this will never be forgotten – and I would encourage anyone able to, to get down and see it while its around.”

St Helens Borough Council is calling on residents to be Better Than That – a movement which asks the people of St Helens to come together to stand united against hate by signing an online pledge.    

To show your support, visit

January 27, 2023


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