King’s Lynn communities come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial service takes place in King's Lynn town hall. Children from St Martha's school choir sing. ANL-150126-004259009
Holocaust Memorial service takes place in King's Lynn town hall. Children from St Martha's school choir sing. ANL-150126-004259009
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Community groups joined civic leaders, schoolchildren and people of all faiths at Lynn’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day service on Sunday.

Borough mayor Barry Ayres and West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney lit a Yahrzeit candle, which is traditionally lit to mark the anniversary of a person’s death in the Jewish faith, in memory of all those killed in the atrocities.

Holocaust Memorial service takes place in King's Lynn town hall. Borough Council leader Nick Daubney lights a candle with Borough Mayor Barry Ayres ANL-150126-004330009

Holocaust Memorial service takes place in King's Lynn town hall. Borough Council leader Nick Daubney lights a candle with Borough Mayor Barry Ayres ANL-150126-004330009

The service carried extra poignancy as today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the most notorious of the Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, by Soviet forces during the closing months of the Second World War.

At least 1.1 million people are thought to have been killed at the site from September 1941 to January 1945.

Representatives of the area’s Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities gave readings at the service, which was organised by the Jewish Community of West Norfolk and led by the vicar of King’s Lynn Minster, Canon Christopher Ivory.

Pupils from the St Martha’s Catholic primary school in Gaywood sang, while representatives of the Lynn Soroptomists and King’s Lynn Area Resettlement Support (KLARS), also gave readings, along with Mr Daubney.

This year’s remembrance events have been centred on the theme of Keeping The Memory Alive, in order to make the stories of the Holocaust and other cases of genocide accessible to future generations.

As well as the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, this year also marks the 40th anniversary since the Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot, which killed hundreds of thousands of Cambodians over a four-year period, seized power.

It is also 20 years this year since more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, mostly men and boys, were massacred by Serb forces in the town of Srebrenica in July 1995, at the height of the Balkan wars.

Mr Ayres said ahead of the service: “In marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in this way our community is showing that we stand united in our condemnation of intolerance and discrimination.

“Together, we remember the victims of the Holocaust and more recent genocides and celebrate the strength of those who resist persecution.”