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Stephen Fry leads artists remembering the Holocaust

Stephen Fry meets Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch at her London home. Credit: Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

Artists and writers have retold the stories of "imponderable brutality and evil" in works created to remember the Holocaust.

The Memory Makers project, run by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, paired seven British artists with Holocaust and genocide survivors living in the UK.

Illustrator Gideon Summerfield, 19, met a group of Holocaust survivors. Credit: Gideon Summerfield/Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

Those artists, who include Stephen Fry, filmmaker Gemma Green-Hope and illustrator Gideon Summerfield, created poetry, ceramics, sculpture, animation and film after hearing the survivors' stories.

Fry met 89-year-old Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a cellist and a surviving member of the Women's Orchestra in Auschwitz.

Their meeting in November last year inspired a written response to the experiences she shared with him at her London home called "Art, Music, Life."

It's hard, it's grotesque and it's almost unbelievable but as witnesses to the imponderable brutality and evil of the Holocaust dwindle in number, so swell in number those who choose, for whatever reason, to deny its existence.

Holocaust deniers are finding it easier and easier to wave a hand dismissively and claim that there's no proof, that the numbers are wholly exaggerated, that it was all a myth.

– Stephen Fry on why he took part in the project

Welsh animator Gemma Green-Hope met 82-year-old Ivor Perl, who was sent to Auschwitz with his parents and eight siblings and survived with only one brother.

Green-Hope said his story was both "remarkable" and "moving", adding, "I feel a connection with his story because my stepfather's grandmother was killed in Auschwitz and I wanted to help ensure that survivors' experiences are not forgotten by younger generations."

Martin O'Neil created a collage after his meeting with Holocaust survivor Bettine Le Beau. Credit: Martin O'Neil/Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

The other artists include London-based poet Sarah Hesketh, who met 92-year-old Holocaust survivor Sabina Miller, and London-born collage artist Martin O'Neil, who met 82-year-old Holocaust survivor Bettine Le Beau.

Ceramicist Clare Twomey created the "Humanity is in our Hands" project after meeting 49-year-old Nisad Sisko Jakupovic, a survivor of the Omarska concentration camp in Bosnia, while film director Debs Paterson met Holocaust survivor Janine Webber.

Clare Twomey will invite the public to give their thoughts on humanity. Credit: Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

Chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Olivia Marks-Woldman said:

These artworks remind us how important it is to confront all forms of hatred and discrimination wherever we see them, and we hope they will take their message to new audiences and communicate their lessons for us all.

– Olivia Marks-Woldman

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