Every year on 27 January, the world commemorates International Holocausts Remembrance Day. This year, United Kingdom assumed the Chairmanship of the International Holocausts Remembrance Alliance. The UK has long played a leading role internationally on Holocaust education and remembrance. PM David Cameron launched a new UK Holocaust Commission in 2014, which will advise on a permanent memorial and education resource on the Holocaust so that future generations can continue to learn its lessons.  

In Singapore the event was held at the Singapore Arts Museum, with a screening of the documentary film 'Tripoli to Bergen-Belsen'. Writing the City also organised a special competition in ahead of the International Holocaust Memorial Day by inviting participants to send in entries based on the theme of 'The Importance of Remembering.' The winner Hafiz read his poem titled “2065”.

Jointly presented by: British Council, British High Commission Singapore, Embassy of Israel Singapore 
Supported by: Singapore Art Museum


(An imagined conversation between Lotte Frankel (now known as Lotte Weiss) and her grandson. Inspired by an actual conversation I had with her on December 2014.  A Jewish teenager back then, Lotte Frankel was deported to Auschwitz in March 1942 and was tattooed prisoner 2065. She narrowly escaped from death and was liberated on May 1945.) 

Oma Why live in the past? Why do you not forget?

Because I cannot forget nekhed

When the past lives in me the pain etched on me still the black ink fresh the number tattooed on my left arm

No longer ein mensch But a number- 2065 Convicted to a slow death.

Oma What did they do? Why do you not forget?

Because they took everything away nekhed

Your clothes, your hair, your name.

At first they burn our books

Then they burn our men

A library of shoes

Piles and piles

Of shoes.

Oma Why did you not avenge? Why do you forgive?

Because it is not their fault nekhed

It is not them who begin

So I forgive them for the curse

Which they unjustly placed 

- Muhammad Al Hafiz Sanusi

WRITING THE CITY is a literary arts platform created by the British Council. With a focus on writing inspired by city life, we support a community of new, emerging and established writers who share their work, give and receive feedback and get invaluable opportunities to take their writing forward.