The National Holocaust Centre & Museum

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The National Holocaust Centre & Museum's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The National Holocaust Centre & Museum is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.holocaust.org.uk

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | THE BRITISH LIBRARY
not just 170,000 visitors to the London
exhibition but also – through the
Living Knowledge Network – a further
750,000 people with linked exhibitions
in more than 40 public libraries in the
UK. The exhibition has since toured to
New York and travels onward to Japan
in autumn 2019, illustrating the Library’s
flourishing work on the global stage.
This is a powerful example of how the
UK’s extraordinary cultural sector works
with partners all around the world
through the advancement of culture,
knowledge and mutual understanding.
Over the last two years, our HM
Treasury-funded programme “The
British Library in China: connecting
through learning and culture” staged
exhibitions and events in Beijing,
Wuzhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong,
thrilling more than 100,000 visitors with
original manuscripts and early editions
of Dickens, Conan Doyle and the
Brontës. We also made more than 200
such treasures available online through
our first ever Chinese-language website.
Working closely with partners in India,
we have digitised 1.3 million pages
from early Bengali printed books,
while our partnership with the Qatar
Foundation – which this year entered
a third phase – has digitised and
made available online more than a
million pages of documents relating
to Gulf history and Arabic scientific
manuscripts. The Library’s Endangered
Archives Programme, which has
worked with over 350 projects in
over 90 countries since 2004, recently
entered a second phase with generous
funding from the Arcadia Foundation.
The programme works with local
partners and people to digitise and
protect archives at risk of damage.
Securing our future
Funding for such initiatives, and the
work we do more broadly, comes from
a diverse range of sources, and we
make use of innovative funding models
wherever possible. The recent signing
in February 2019 of a development
agreement with commercial partners
to develop a 2.8-acre site to the north
of our St Pancras estate is a powerful
demonstration of this. At no additional
cost to the exchequer, the Library will
be able to deliver 100,000 square
feet of new spaces to grow its offer
across our public purposes, as well as a
new headquarters for the Alan Turing
Institute, the UK’s national centre for
data science and artificial intelligence.
Fundamentally, though, the nature
of our underpinning legislation,
and the range of public purposes it
ascribes to us, requires continuing
levels of grant- in-aid investment.
These purposes are set out in our
Living Knowledge: The British Library
2015-23
strategy, articulating an
overarching vision to become the
most open, creative and innovative
institution of its kind anywhere in
the world. These are times of historic
disruption, change and opportunity
in how knowledge is created, shared
and utilised. The year 2019 marks the
halfway point in our strategic journey,
and if you have never stepped into the
British Library – whether in London
or Yorkshire – I warmly invite you to
come and experience the remarkable
ways our collections continue to inspire
creativity, innovation and enjoyment.
Hundreds of
thousands
enjoy a vibrant
cultural
programme of
world-class
events and
exhibitions and
our Business &
Intellectual
Property
Centre in St
Pancras is
visited nearly
100,000 times
a year
Online learning
resources were used
over 8 million times last
year
19THE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST CENTRE AND MUSEUM |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
CEO Phil Lyons
Our main entrance – open to all and
currently attracting 30,000 visitors
The National Holocaust Centre and Museum, based in
Laxton, Nottinghamshire, are committed to promoting an
understanding of the roots of discrimination and prejudice
and the development of ethical values to try and improve society
as a whole. Using the history of genocide as a model, they strive
to ensure that future generations learn from these tragedies.
Comprising two permanent exhibitions and a memorial garden,
they educate those of all ages, from school children to adults.
CEO Phil Lyons MBE tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
The Holocaust: the single most important set of events in history and one that
confirms the fragility of civilised society and the consequences of unfettered
prejudice and hatred.
Before and after the Holocaust, history has shown that when some people are
excluded from the life of a nation, it is a small step to exclude them physically, by
forced deportation or even mass murder.
It is probably the most researched and documented period of modern history
and with the benefit of 75 years of enquiry and reflection, we have a clear sense
of those incremental steps that ultimately led to atrocity on a massive scale. You
would think its salutary lesson would last forever.
But what of today?
How do we help young people lay down the sort of values that will fashion
communities of the future?
FACTS ABOUT
THE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST
CENTRE AND MUSEUM
»CEO: Phil Lyons MBE
»Established in 1995
»Based in Laxton, Newark,
Nottinghamshire
»Services: Holocaust museum
and education centre
»No. of employees: 30
»30,000 visitors a year, mainly
from the Midlands and the
North
The National Holocaust
Centre and Museum
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | THE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST CENTRE AND MUSEUM
How do we avoid preaching and
finger-wagging?
How do we do this in a world
becoming more cynical and dismissive
of politicians and experts in general?
How do we distil the wisdom from
this horrifying history and yet offer up
hope for the future?
These are big questions that need
leadership and consensus among
government, educators, and those
currently trying to establish best practice.
Promoting an inclusive future
But there is good news. All my
colleagues would agree that in general
our children are better than we were at
recognising injustice. If we combine this
with the real prospect of opening up our
values-led programmes to all schools,
we start to look positively at our futures.
The National Holocaust Centre
and Museum was established to
commemorate those that were lost,
to tell their story and the wider history
of the Holocaust and to inspire young
audiences to develop critical thinking
based on the past in order to ask
questions about today.
We start with the primary phase, where
practice has shown us that nine to
11-year-olds readily grasp concepts
such as propaganda, prejudice and
persecution. Our programmes focus on
the specific story of the Kindertransport
– the trains that brought nearly 10,000
unaccompanied children aged three to
17 years old to the UK in 1938/39. The
story, however, is universal; it is the
story of refugees and it is underpinned
by universal values.
Our secondary and adult programmes
follow the chronology of the Holocaust
itself. Visitors use our exhibitions and
memorial gardens to explore the
causes and roots of genocide as well as
its consequences and enduring legacy.
Bringing reality to the history
Our visitors have the opportunity
to meet a Holocaust survivor and
listen to their testimony. Every one
of their stories is compelling history,
shown through the lens of memory,
but they also bring a reality to that
history and remind us all that this
is about the human condition. Our
survivors travel daily from all parts of
the country. They are all in their late
eighties and nineties. We are losing
them far too quickly. They tell us that
the reason they make long, difficult
journeys and put themselves through
the terrible pain of memory is not to
wring emotional responses from their
audiences. They want something else.
They want a world free of hatred,
persecution and intolerance, today.
They want young people to consider
their own attitudes and behaviour
towards difference, now.
The memorial gardens
and exhibitions
challenge young and old
alike
Our children
are better
than we were
at recognising
injustice
21THE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST CENTRE AND MUSEUM |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
We offer new forms of immersive
learning experiences which
contemporise, and future-proof the
memory and lessons of the Holocaust.
By creating educational content which
engages and inspires, we aim to
build a new generation of upstanders
against hate. The purpose of our work
is to transform fear and persecution of
“otherness” into mutual acceptance.
There is real urgency to our purpose.
Time is running out to capture the
experiences, evidence, and artefacts
of the Holocaust. At the same time,
demographic changes, instability and
extremism are rapidly fuelling new
hatreds in our society. The need for
us to make a positive, compassionate
contribution to change is therefore
equally pressing.
Embracing digital technology
Like many organisations in the
museum and charitable sectors, we
realised some years ago that digital
technology could transform our
thinking and open up new audiences.
The particular issues we had to address
were scale and reach. We sit in rural
Nottinghamshire, in the middle of the
country yet quite isolated. School visits
depend upon travel times and we have
an essentially regional catchment.
How can we put our museum
collection, our exhibitions, and our
survivor testimonies through the digital
mangle and still hope to preserve the
character, tone, and sensitivity of such
a dark and difficult subject?
That has been the task and the results
are amazing. The collection has been
fully digitised and is now available
for visitors and schools alike to view
online. The Journey exhibition, our
immersive experience for primary
schools, has been put onto a new
platform suitable for tablets and
smartphones, using the very best UK
know-how in gaming technology and
animation – it now has no geographic
boundaries. Best of all, we have filmed
survivor testimony in high-definition
3D, but just like audiences today,
visitors can ask the image questions
and receive answers as they would
from the real survivor.
Our big challenge, working with
government, is to use digital content
with creative impact to reach millions,
not thousands and to build new norms
of tolerance and understanding.
We need to get to places where
young people reside – social media
in particular – and to drown out
pernicious messages of hatred and
promote positive messages about
the things that unite us. We need to
develop the social and moral courage
to stand up and speak out and if we
really get it right, to challenge and to
act. This is not easy, but it applies to all
of us, everywhere, all the time.
Our big
challenge is to
use digital
content with
creative
impact to
reach millions
not thousands
Interactive survivor
testimony being recorded
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | THE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST CENTRE AND MUSEUM
How do we avoid preaching and
finger-wagging?
How do we do this in a world
becoming more cynical and dismissive
of politicians and experts in general?
How do we distil the wisdom from
this horrifying history and yet offer up
hope for the future?
These are big questions that need
leadership and consensus among
government, educators, and those
currently trying to establish best practice.
Promoting an inclusive future
But there is good news. All my
colleagues would agree that in general
our children are better than we were at
recognising injustice. If we combine this
with the real prospect of opening up our
values-led programmes to all schools,
we start to look positively at our futures.
The National Holocaust Centre
and Museum was established to
commemorate those that were lost,
to tell their story and the wider history
of the Holocaust and to inspire young
audiences to develop critical thinking
based on the past in order to ask
questions about today.
We start with the primary phase, where
practice has shown us that nine to
11-year-olds readily grasp concepts
such as propaganda, prejudice and
persecution. Our programmes focus on
the specific story of the Kindertransport
– the trains that brought nearly 10,000
unaccompanied children aged three to
17 years old to the UK in 1938/39. The
story, however, is universal; it is the
story of refugees and it is underpinned
by universal values.
Our secondary and adult programmes
follow the chronology of the Holocaust
itself. Visitors use our exhibitions and
memorial gardens to explore the
causes and roots of genocide as well as
its consequences and enduring legacy.
Bringing reality to the history
Our visitors have the opportunity
to meet a Holocaust survivor and
listen to their testimony. Every one
of their stories is compelling history,
shown through the lens of memory,
but they also bring a reality to that
history and remind us all that this
is about the human condition. Our
survivors travel daily from all parts of
the country. They are all in their late
eighties and nineties. We are losing
them far too quickly. They tell us that
the reason they make long, difficult
journeys and put themselves through
the terrible pain of memory is not to
wring emotional responses from their
audiences. They want something else.
They want a world free of hatred,
persecution and intolerance, today.
They want young people to consider
their own attitudes and behaviour
towards difference, now.
The memorial gardens
and exhibitions
challenge young and old
alike
Our children
are better
than we were
at recognising
injustice
21THE NATIONAL HOLOCAUST CENTRE AND MUSEUM |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
We offer new forms of immersive
learning experiences which
contemporise, and future-proof the
memory and lessons of the Holocaust.
By creating educational content which
engages and inspires, we aim to
build a new generation of upstanders
against hate. The purpose of our work
is to transform fear and persecution of
“otherness” into mutual acceptance.
There is real urgency to our purpose.
Time is running out to capture the
experiences, evidence, and artefacts
of the Holocaust. At the same time,
demographic changes, instability and
extremism are rapidly fuelling new
hatreds in our society. The need for
us to make a positive, compassionate
contribution to change is therefore
equally pressing.
Embracing digital technology
Like many organisations in the
museum and charitable sectors, we
realised some years ago that digital
technology could transform our
thinking and open up new audiences.
The particular issues we had to address
were scale and reach. We sit in rural
Nottinghamshire, in the middle of the
country yet quite isolated. School visits
depend upon travel times and we have
an essentially regional catchment.
How can we put our museum
collection, our exhibitions, and our
survivor testimonies through the digital
mangle and still hope to preserve the
character, tone, and sensitivity of such
a dark and difficult subject?
That has been the task and the results
are amazing. The collection has been
fully digitised and is now available
for visitors and schools alike to view
online. The Journey exhibition, our
immersive experience for primary
schools, has been put onto a new
platform suitable for tablets and
smartphones, using the very best UK
know-how in gaming technology and
animation – it now has no geographic
boundaries. Best of all, we have filmed
survivor testimony in high-definition
3D, but just like audiences today,
visitors can ask the image questions
and receive answers as they would
from the real survivor.
Our big challenge, working with
government, is to use digital content
with creative impact to reach millions,
not thousands and to build new norms
of tolerance and understanding.
We need to get to places where
young people reside – social media
in particular – and to drown out
pernicious messages of hatred and
promote positive messages about
the things that unite us. We need to
develop the social and moral courage
to stand up and speak out and if we
really get it right, to challenge and to
act. This is not easy, but it applies to all
of us, everywhere, all the time.
Our big
challenge is to
use digital
content with
creative
impact to
reach millions
not thousands
Interactive survivor
testimony being recorded

www.holocaust.org.uk

This article was sponsored by The National Holocaust Centre & Museum. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster