Holocaust Memorial Day marked across Britain

By staff writers
28 Jan 2012

Hundreds of events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day took place as part of the worldwide commemoration on Friday 27 January, with more services and ceremonies as part of religious events happening this weekend.

Civic groups, faith communities, local authorities, NGOs, human rights organisations, trades unions, LGBT groups, Jewish bodies and organisations highlighting the plight of discriminated against peoples - including travelling and Roma people - have all been involved.

HMD is held on the 27 January every year - on the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 1.6 million men, women and children were killed.

The day aims to remind people of the crimes, racism and loss of life during the Holocaust in World War II and prevent it ever being forgotten or repeated, as well as remembering more recent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur and earlier ones such as Armenia. It has been held annually in the UK since 2001.

The Trades Union Congress and civil rights groups used the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day to call for an end to discrimination and prejudice that lie at the roots of violence against and between peoples.

Alongside the six million Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, millions of others were targeted by Hitler's regime - including union members, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT), disabled people, and people attacked simply for their ethnic background like Poles and Gypsies.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "Unions have always stood up to the kind of discrimination, prejudice and hatred that led to the Nazi Holocaust."

He added: "LGBT people were among the millions of victims of Hitler's brutal regime, and today LGBT communities are a vital part of the resistance to modern versions of this hatred."

* Full details of Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain: http://hmd.org.uk/

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