Holocaust Memorial Day service at St Albans Cathedral marks 75 years since liberation of Auschwitz

PUBLISHED: 09:16 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:31 30 January 2020

A service was held in St Albans Cathedral to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Alison Orde

A service was held in St Albans Cathedral to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Alison Orde

Archant

A memorial service was held in St Albans to commemorate victims of the Holocaust and other genocides.

A service was held in St Albans Cathedral to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Alison OrdeA service was held in St Albans Cathedral to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Picture: Alison Orde

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place every year on January 27, to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation, and is on the theme of 'Stand Together' - with a call to stop division and the spread of hatred in society.

Mayor of St Albans Cllr Janet Smith hosted an evening service at St Albans Cathedral's welcome centre on Monday. The service was addressed by local rabbis and featured moving stories from Holocaust survivors, with members of the public lighting candles in memory of those who died.

Speaking before the service, Cllr Smith said: "Holocaust Memorial Day is for every member of our community. We will come together with people across the whole of the UK to learn more about the past and take action to create a safer future

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"This year is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazis' most notorious extermination camp, and I'm sure many residents from many different backgrounds and walks of life will want to join me to show their opposition to prejudice and hatred.

"We will bear witness for those who endured genocide and honour the survivors and all those whose lives were changed beyond recognition."

As well as remembering the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, the service also remembers the millions of other people killed by the Nazis and later genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and elsewhere.

From January 23 to February 20, the cathedral is also hosting an exhibition on the life of Anne Frank and her experiences during the Holocaust, featuring a life-sized replica of her bedroom in the secret annexe in Amsterdam, where her family hid for over two years.

Alongside historical content, the exhibition also includes a contemporary section highlighting themes from Anne's diary, such as racial hatred and the value of freedom and education.

General Admission to the exhibition is free. More information and opening times can be found at www.stalbanscathedral.org

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