Speak up, Speak Out! Holocaust Memorial Day 2012

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2012 is Speak Up, Speak Out!

During the Holocaust most people did nothing to help the Jews of Europe. However, there are many examples of people actually speaking out and taking action in order to save the lives of Jews; even if this might place their own lives in danger if they had been caught helping Jews.


“Your name is on the list, they are coming for you tomorrow!”

Joan was born to Polish Jewish parents in Brussels, Belgium during 1940. She had an older sister. Within three months of Joan's birth the German Army invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Very soon the Germans had succeeded in defeating the local armies and occupied the three countries.

Joan’s mother and father decided that the family might be safer if they moved to France to live in Paris with other members of their extended family. However, Joan’s father had been captured, but then escaped and was living in hiding. Joan's mother and two children remained in Paris.

Each week the family had to register at the local Police Station. On one such occasion Joan’s mother was lining up to register along with her children. However, Joan’s sister was misbehaving and Joan was crying. Joan’s mother was told to take her children outside to calm them down.

On their return to the queue, the actions of a French policeman ‘Speaking Up and Speaking Out’ would serve to save the lives of Joan’s mother and her two children.

Watch the video to learn what the policeman did and how the family survived.


Please note that the lead in may take a few moments to allow the video to begin.