The National Holocaust Centre and Museum
We are the only place of Holocaust remembrance and learning in the world founded by Christians. In 1995, the remarkable Smith family opened Beth Shalom (’House of Peace’) in their very own farmhouse in Sherwood Forest. They hoped to inspire others to reflect on the European civilisation in which they lived, and which perpetrated the Holocaust - in particular Christianity’s 2000-year campaign of anti-Jewish hate. It had created the reservoir of myths and conspiracy theories from which anti-Jewish racism had always drawn, and continues to draw, usually unknowingly, to this day.
We became a home-from-home for inspiring speakers: Holocaust survivors. A much-loved extension of the Smith family, they attracted ever-growing audiences of schools, adults and families. Over quarter of a century later, this has created a warm, friendly sense of community like no other museum or Holocaust educational organisation. We are a charity and rely on the support of friends and donors to continue the vital work of remembrance and education we do.
One by one, our beloved survivor family entrusted to our care the artefacts behind their stories. In this way, we evolved from a single exhibition in a rural family home into a museum awarded prestigious ‘National Portfolio Organisation’ status by Arts Council England.
But one thing has never changed is the sense of hope which our community, inspires. As the 1,000 stunning white roses in our memorial gardens suggest, it is important both to remember history and to spread branches of hope for the future.