People across the country have been painting foundation stones for #Belsen75. April 15th marked 75 years since the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp by British forces. The story of Bergen-Belsen’s liberation will feature prominently in the new UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, and it is fantastic to have received so many stones that commemorate this specific event in British history.

The British Red Cross shared the story of the six British Red Cross teams sent to Bergen-Belsen to provide aid to civilians in an effort that saved thousands of lives. Mehzebin Adam, British Red Cross Curator, shared the story of dolls made by survivors of Bergen-Belsen in art therapy classes, now held in the British Red Cross Museum & Archives.

 Inspired by the three dolls, Mehzebin painted a Foundation Stone which incorporated elements of the design of each doll.

Perhaps you could paint a stone inspired by these beautiful dolls. To find out more, you can watch her film.

David Bernstein, Chair of the British Red Cross, also contributed a Foundation Stone to the UK Holocaust Memorial & Learning Centre. He shared the family story of Uncle Joe, who was an interpreter for survivors at Bergen-Belsen. David painted the word ‘humanity’ on his stone, as:

“a guiding principle of the Red Cross movement. [It] defines the spirit of those who served at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp”.

Yom HaShoah UK’s day of digital commemoration also held a digital Foundation Stones workshop. Yom HaShoah is the Jewish community’s time to reflect and remember the 6 million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust. You can still access the Yom HaShoah workshop online and paint your stones as you watch below.

Above all thank you to everyone who has shared their Foundation Stones at Home using social media. One participant even made a Pinterest board to inspire others!

Though our month of commemoration for #Belsen75 is drawing to a close, the project continues. We are accepting Foundation Stones throughout 2020.  Paint your stones at home and post them when it is safe so that they can become part of the new UK Holocaust Memorial & Learning Centre. Up load your stone on to our website and it will join others from across the UK on our Foundation Stones Map. Find out more: www.big-ideas/currentprojects/foundationstones. What will your Foundation Stone look like?