Thousands mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The victims and survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides are being remembered at hundreds of events across the UK today as part of Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2011.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to commemorate HMD 2011 in communities and schools nationwide.

A national event will take place in London later today, bringing together survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, as well as politicians, young people, religious leaders and dignitaries.

The theme of this year's HMD is "untold stories" inspired by the fact that there are millions of stories which will never be told because lives and communities were wiped out in genocide.

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust hopes that by listening to the stories that have been told, people will better understand those untold stories, using the lessons learnt as an inspiration.

Holocaust survivor Iby Knill, who will be attending a HMD event in Halifax, West Yorkshire, said: "My wish is that people respect one another and realise human life is the most valuable thing in the whole world.

"By understanding this we can all live in a peaceful and happy society."

Carly Whyborn, chief executive officer at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, added: "Last year on HMD, thousands of people came together and pledged to become part of a Legacy of Hope.

"This year, our theme, Untold Stories takes this one step further and provides everyone with an opportunity to make this pledge a reality.

"On HMD 2011, we want people to think about those in our communities today whose stories are untold and who may be marginalised by society.

"Ensuring all voices are heard will help us to create a safer and better future which values differences and does not discriminate."

Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual event and takes place on the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau - the largest Nazi Concentration Camp.