YORK will host multiple events throughout the city to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

Holocaust Memorial Day is remembered each year on January 27, when Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated in 1945.

This year, York will be embracing the theme ‘Stand Together’ through a programme of events.

The city-wide programme explores how genocide throughout history has fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, and how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours, to speak out against oppression.

Residents and visitors are invited to attend a number of talks, tailored events, community projects and commemorations taking place in various venues throughout York.

On January 23, York Minster will host the powerful 600 Candles event, a candle lit ceremony of commemoration and reflection from 6.15pm to 7.30pm.

This will be followed by the annual civic event, which will be held on January 27 at Temple Hall, York St John University, hosted by the Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Janet Looker, and the Civic Party.

The diverse programme of events also includes a Time for Reflection at St Martin’s Church, on Holocaust Memorial Day, and Clifford’s Tower Commemoration, on March 16, to honour the 1190 massacre of York’s Jewish population, in addition to several events throughout January at the University of York and York St John University.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, is the executive member for culture, leisure and communities at City of York Council.

He said: “York is proud to stand with others once again, to raise awareness and commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

“We are committed to honouring those who have lost their lives to genocide, and we hope to see both residents and visitors join us at the wide range of events, exhibitions and activities available throughout the city.”

York Holocaust Memorial Day Steering Group chair, Michael Barrie, added: “At a time when ideologies of hate are on the rise around the world, we should remind ourselves of the consequences when unbridled bigotry takes over hearts and minds.”

Holocaust Memorial Day is now an established act of commemoration when people from all around the world come together to remember the destruction and devastation caused by the Holocaust and also more recent genocides and persecution around the world.

The official programme for Stand Together has now been published and is available online at www.york.gov.uk/HolocaustMemorialDay.

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day and national events, visit: www.hmd.org.uk