This year the Golden Thread Gallery will join with schools, community groups, art galleries and museums across the UK taking part in the Foundation Stones project, a very special art project to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Foundation Stones invites you to paint a stone in memory of all those who were murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazi regime. You can also choose to dedicate your stone to those murdered in the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Building on the Jewish custom of placing a pebble on headstones when visiting a grave, the painted stones from across the UK will be gathered together to become a physical part of the new UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London.

On Wednesday 20th January you can join a special stone painting workshop online – we’ll be taking part too. Sign up here.

You can also download this guide to painting your stone:

What is Holocaust Memorial day?

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27th January 2021. It is the day for everyone to remember the the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust and all other victims of Nazi persecution, and those murdered in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. By marking this solemn day, we not only remember and honour the people who died, we make a commitment to learn the lessons of the past. We must never forget how genocide can happen if discrimination, hatred and racism are allowed to grow in our societies, and we don’t act to prevent them. Violence still continues in Darfur.

This is a very difficult subject for children – how do I talk to my kids about the Holocaust?

We recommend the Foundation Stones project for children aged 10 and over.

It is very difficult to talk about horrific events like genocide with children, but there are many learning resources that may help. The BBC Teach site has teaching guides including short animated films. The Imperial War Museum has some short films online exploring Jewish life and culture, and the roots of antisemitism here (suitable for age 11 onwards).

Other places to start might include the wonderful book ‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit‘ by Judith Kerr, or ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’ There are great resources for children aged 9 and upwards on the Anne Frank Trust website here.

There is a long list of other resources on the Foundation Stones site here.

How does my stone become part of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre?

Once you have painted your stones, please share a picture online using the hashtag #FoundationStones. Then, please post your stones to:

Big Ideas
Unit 1, 465C Hornsey Road
N19 4DR

Everybody who takes part, will receive a digital certificate of participation from the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation. Register your stone to receive your certificate.

What if I can’t post my stone?

Please email [email protected] to discuss collection.