CROWDS gathered at York’s Clifford’s Tower to remember victims and survivors of the Holocaust and commemorate 150 people who were massacred in medieval York.

The candle-lit ceremony took place despite the cold weather as part of City of York Council’s remembrance 2013 services, and featured a guest choir from Moriah Jewish Day School in London, and pupils from Burnholme Community College in York.

A large number of Jews in York sought sanctuary from persecution by a baying mob in 1190 in the then wooden castle, and many took their own lives rather than be slaughtered.

Many others lost their lives when the castle was burned to the ground by the mob, with one account claiming a total of 150 lives were lost.

A Jewish Heritage trail around the medieval and modern Jewish community’s contribution to York’s history also took place yesterday, along with a candle-lit procession to the Anne Frank tree and rose in Tower Gardens.

Coun Sonja Crisp said: “This year’s programme is larger and more diverse than that of previous years, including songs, performances, photographic exhibitions and lectures, as well as giving opportunities for reflection and contemplation.

"York is committed to promoting a more secure and inclusive society for all, and the city actively seeks to ensure we all play a part in making York a tolerant and welcoming place.”

Further events are planned next month. For more details about the programme, phone City of York Council on 01904 554275, email or go to