Other BBC programmes
The following programmes are planned for broadcast on or around Holocaust
Exact transmission details will be available nearer the time.
Holocaust Memorial Event
Holocaust Memorial Day 2005 will see the biggest assembly to date of
British-based survivors of the camps and ghettos of Nazi Europe.
All known survivors will be invited to a ceremony in Westminster Hall,
London, due to be attended by Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh
and major political leaders.
At the first Holocaust Memorial Day in 2001, survivors were addressed
by big names from the world of theatre, film, television and music,
including Emma Thompson, Sir Antony Sher, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Bob
Geldof and Sir Trevor MacDonald.
This year will see the world's first performance of Annelies, an original
oratorio based on the diaries of Anne Frank performed by the Royal Philharmonic
The event will also introduce Stephen Leas to a wider audience. Stephen
is the cantor at Great Portland Street Synagogue, London, and will sing
the memorial prayer.
Unusually for a cantor, Stephen has also trained in secular music with
the English National Opera.
Holocaust - A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz
For many prisoners in Auschwitz, music played a unique and precious
role. Several orchestras and bands were set up, made up entirely of
Amidst all the horrors, music was a part of daily life: marches were
played at the camp gates as labour gangs were led out to work each morning
and musicians were called on at all times of the day and night to perform
for the SS and Nazi officers.
Now, in a unique tribute to the millions who died in the Nazi genocide
and for the first time in its history, the museum at Auschwitz-Birkenau
has allowed a number of leading musicians from around the world to come
to the camps and perform in a 90-minute film shot entirely on location.
A sequence of carefully chosen music, all connected in some way with
the Holocaust, will be interwoven with the powerful accounts of three
survivors from the men's and women's orchestras.
The list of world-class musicians taking part in the film includes
the acclaimed Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov, the American pianist
Emanuel Ax and a number of international singers, including sopranos
Isabel Bayrakdarian and Kate Royal, mezzo-soprano Tove Dahlberg and
bass-baritone Gerald Finlay.
The Sinfonietta Krakowia and Camerata Silesia will be conducted by
The film includes music from the Jewish liturgy as well as works by
Chopin, Górecki, Messiaen, Viktor Ullmann and Bach.
A new work for brass and shofars (a Hebrew instrument made from animal
horns) by the sought-after Jewish-Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov
has been specially commissioned for the film.
Holocaust - A Music Memorial Film is an international endeavour, with
artists coming from as far afield as Poland, the United Kingdom, Canada,
the United States, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Russia.
The film is a co-production between the BBC, TVP (Poland), CBC (Canada)
and ZDF (Germany).
It will be directed by the award-winning Jewish director James Kent,
whose credits include The Genius of Mozart and numerous documentaries
for the BBC, Channel 4 and HBO.
The executive producer is Peter Maniura and the producer is Ben Weston.
Grandchild of the Holocaust
In 1939, Rene was just 12 years old when she was sent to the Lodz Ghetto
and later to Auschwitz and Belsen.
Her 10-year-old sister was killed in Treblinka and her mother died
12 days after Belsen was liberated.
Rene has never discovered what happened to her father. She is the only
member of her family to have survived.
Today, Rene, a sprightly 75 year old, lives in a comfortable home in
the UK with her husband Charles, who was one of the British volunteers
who liberated Belsen.
They have been married for more than 50 years and her pride and joy
are her five grandchildren, who she never thought she would live to
Like so many survivors, Rene has never been able to express fully
the pain of her experiences or expunge the guilt of surviving when so
many millions perished.
"Statistics say I shouldn't be here. I survived so many selection
processes under the Nazis that I can't believe I am still here today
to tell my story," she says.
Rene's son, Martin, has never asked her about what happened to her
during the war; it is something she has not talked about for 50 years.
But Martin's own 13-year-old son Adrian is always asking his granny
about her war-time experiences.
Now, for the first time, Rene is about to reveal to Adrian what her
life was really like when she was growing up in Poland, at the same
age as he is now.
Descendants of the Holocaust joins Rene and her family on an emotional
voyage of discovery as she passes on to her grandchildren the memory
of what she went through in the hope that it will not all be forgotten.
The documentary is a celebration of the continuation of her family,
and of families like hers, against all the odds.
Songs of Praise
This special edition of Songs of Praise to mark National Holocaust
Memorial Day follows three sixth-form students on a journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Laura, Mark and Asha all have very personal reasons for wanting to
visit the camp and learn more about the horrors that unfolded there.
Their visit has been organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust,
which aims to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust and
its relevance today.
Presented by Aled Jones, music comes from Libera and The Zemel Choir
and includes Lead Kindly Light and Abide with Me.
Sunday Worship on 23 January 2005 comes from Beth Shalom in Newark,
on the edge of Sherwood Forest.
Beth Shalom - meaning House of Peace - is Britain's first dedicated
Holocaust Memorial and Education Centre.
Since 1995, the centre has provided a peaceful setting in which visitors
can learn, remember and reflect.
This ecumenical service will be led by the director of the centre,
Dr Stephen D Smith, and includes contributions from member of the local
Jewish and Christian communities.