The National Holocaust Centre & Museum has a new film for the visiting public narrated by broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky.

Appointed to the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission in 2014, Kaplinsky last year presented the BBC Radio Four appeal on behalf of the Centre. She discovered the fate of her own extended family under the Nazis in 2007, during filming for the TV series ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’.

“The horrors of the Holocaust only become real when you hear an individual story, as it did for me when filming in what is now Belarus,” she shares in the new film.  “The suffering that resulted from such hatred and prejudice must never be forgotten,” she adds. “The National Holocaust Centre and Museum keeps the memory of these events alive every day.”

 The full 13-minute film will only be viewed by people visiting the Centre, but a powerful 2-minute edit can be viewed here


Acknowledging the power and importance of survivor testimony, the film includes short recollections from Holocaust survivors Kitty Hart-Moxon, Steven Frank and Simon Winston.

“It is too vast to actually put it in a few words, I couldn't do it,” says Kitty Hart in the film with reference to her time in the Kanada Kommando at Aushwitz-Birkenau. “I was there eight months and witnessed the destruction day in, day out.”

 After participating in meetings over several decades about the possibility of a Holocaust museum in the UK, Kitty had little confidence things would turn out differently when first approached by Centre co-founder Dr Stephen Smith in the early 1990s. “My husband was there, and we both laughed,” she recalls on camera. “I said, "Well, that's a very noble idea Stephen, but you're not going to make it. Lots of people have tried and failed.” When the Centre opened I was gobsmacked. It was just amazing.”

Simon Winston, who survived the Holocaust as a child in hiding with his family in Nazi-occupied Ukraine, now lives in Nottingham – little more than 20 miles south of the National Holocaust Centre. “I've suffered,” he says in the film, where he is seen addressing visiting students from Clayton Hall Academy. “I don't want you to suffer in the same way; I want to feel that by telling my story, you can do something about preventing a future genocide, a future Holocaust.”

It’s a theme picked up with reference to the Centre’s sister organization, the Aegis Trust for genocide prevention, which was invited to establish the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda’s capital after a visit to the Holocaust Centre by the Mayor of Kigali, together with Rwanda’s then Minister of Culture, Robert Bayigamba, in 2002. “The Holocaust Centre was very inspiring,” Bayigamba explains on screen. “I had never seen something like that, and it kicked off the idea to create a more meaningful memorial in Rwanda.” Modelled in its approach on the Centre, that Memorial is now at the centre of a peace education programme helping young Rwandans overcome the mistrust and ethnic division which led to mass murder in 1994.

“The processes that lead to genocide and mass atrocities are predictable. And therefore we can all play a role in making them preventable,” says the National Holocaust Centre’s President Dr James Smith, who co-founded both the Centre and the Aegis Trust with his brother Stephen.

Kitty Hart notes, conversely, that “If events happened once, they can happen again. And unless people know, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves.” What does the National Holocaust Centre mean for her? She doesn’t mince her words: “It’s a warning to society to take note. Because, by and large, little has been learned from history.”

Produced for the National Holocaust Centre by the Notts-based Independent Production Company (, the new film features remarkable historical content sourced from the Imperial War Museum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Bundesarchiv, including colour footage from the Warsaw Ghetto. The USC Shoah Foundation in California, where Dr Stephen Smith is now Executive Director, also provided contemporary footage from Holocaust sites in eastern Europe.

“It’s fifteen years since the National Holocaust Centre’s last visitor film was put together, and we’re delighted with the new production,” says CEO Phil Lyons. “It provides a powerful overview of the history of the Holocaust and the creation of this remarkable Centre, and I would urge everyone to pay a visit."