Academy players mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Arsenal Academy

Staff and players from Arsenal Academy have taken part in workshops this week to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. 

Commemorated on January 27 to remember the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945, this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day follows the theme 'be the light in the darkness.' 

Players from our under-12s to under-16s took part in workshops run by Big ideas to remember the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust and all other victims of Nazi persecution. They also learned about the incredible story of football legend and Holocaust survivor Béla Guttmann.  

“We have a responsibility to help our young players understand that they are part of a far bigger world – one we hope they will play an active part in protecting and contributing to,” explained Academy Manager Per Mertesacker.  

“The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year is 'be the light in the darkness' and it was extremely powerful during the workshop to hear about the story of Béla Guttmann. I know the players will have been inspired by the courage he showed in such unimaginable circumstances. 

“We take a holistic approach to developing Strong Young Gunners in the Academy and that goes way beyond what we do on the training pitches. Respect and Humility are two of our three Academy Standards, so it’s important we’ve been able to educate our players on the horrors of the Holocaust and that they’ve been able to mark this in the right way.” 

The players were also offered the opportunity to reflect on the workshops by painting Foundation Stones, which are traditionally laid by Jews on a headstone as an act of remembrance. These stones will join others across the UK to become part of the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London. 

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