Victims of Holocaust Remembered Today

Israel Materials 28 January 2008 00:06 (UTC +04:00)
Victims of Holocaust Remembered Today

( BBC ) - More than 100 Holocaust survivors have gathered for a national service marking the 62nd anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps.

Survivors and their families joined a 1,200-strong audience at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

Victims of other atrocities, such as those in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda, were also remembered.

Speakers included Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and minister Ruth Kelly.

Six million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Between 1940 and 1945 about 1.5 million people died at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

Organisers said they hoped the commemoration would ensure the persecution of the Jews by Hitler's regime would never be forgotten.

Appeals were also made to stop the deaths in Darfur.

The audience listened to speeches, music and personal testimonies about the atrocities.

Outside the theatre a collage made of coloured stones, coal and pulses, representing the Holocaust Memorial Day flame, was laid out on the pavement.

Ms Kelly, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, told the audience: "The Holocaust was an appalling atrocity, one of the darkest pages in European history, a crime unparalleled in scope and evil."

She added: "The memory of the Holocaust should spur us all to stand up for the civilised values we share. It should spur us to fight against prejudice."