Cambridge Civic Commemoration

Date: Sunday 26th January 3pm to 4.30pm

Place: Corn Exchange, 2 Wheeler Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QB

Helen Weinstein is the Artistic Director commissioned by Cambridge City Council for the marking of Holocaust Memorial Day in Cambridge with an ambitous education programme for schools to engage young people in the history of genocides in the past and fighting for equality and against racism and prejuice and persecution in the present through co-creating poetry, drama, dance, music, choral works and artworks.

Historyworks has also been commissioned to organize the commemorative civic event on behalf of the Mayor and Councillors which for 2020 will take place at the Corn Exchange.  Free. Unticketed.  All are welcome to attend!

This year our theme for the HMD programme will be Stand Together, Strong Together. The Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur show us how we need to stand together against persecution and prejudice.  Our focus for the commemoraion will be to mark the 25 year anniversary of the genocide in Bosnia and the Bosnian Wars, and 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Bringing children from different schools together is a core part of Holocaust Memorial Day activities in Cambridge, and this year hundreds of school students have been working with the poet, Michael Rosen, alongside the historian, Helen Weinstein, and the holocaust survivor, Eva Clarke. We will hear newly commissioned pieces by the poet Michael Rosen especially arranged for choirs to perform at the HMD civic ceremony; plus pieces co-created and performed by young people from across a range of Cambridge schools.

The HMD Civic Ceremony will comprise songs, readings, poetry and drama, all inspired and interspersed by moving words from survivor testimonies and uplifting words from groups actively campaigning for equalities and supporting diversity today. New songs to rehearse and perform for HMD 2020 are available with scores, lyrics, audio here:

This event promises to be both moving and uplifting and is suitable for children from KS2 Y3,4,5,6 onwards. I very much look forward to seeing you there.  It is free of charge and un-ticketed, however can I please ask that you arrive in good time for a 3pm start. The event will end by approximately 4.30pm.   

For more information about the civic event plus the programme of satellite events please consult these NEWS pages at or contact Prof Helen Weinstein directly via email at

Michael Rosen HMD Poems

Michael Rosen has recorded poems which have been commissioned by Hisoryworks on the themes of Holocaust Memorial Day to inspire resistance of prejudice and racism. Also, a series of poems where Michael responds to the uncovering of his family story, his Uncles killed by the Nazi regime at Auschwitz.  

These are poems we are sharing with schools to encourage KS2 and KS3 students in our Cambridge education programme to themselves respond to learning about genocide and human rights with their own poetry.  You can find all of Michael's HMD poems recorded by Hisoryworks as a collection sharing audo and lyrics here:

For HMD 2018 the theme was 'The Power of Words' and for 2019 'Torn from Home' and for 2020 the theme is 'Stand Together, Strong Together'.  For 2020 there are three poems which are lyrics for 3 songs which will be performed at the Cambridge civic commemoration and at school assemblies and fundraiser events to support refugee and homeless charities - you can find the song lyrics here:

The 2020 poems composed by Michael Rosen with Hisoryworks for musical arrangements are:




HMD 2020 Stand Together


On this page ...