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Landmarks illuminated purple to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Landmarks across the country have been lit up purple to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Famous buildings and monuments including Durham Cathedral, Cardiff Castle, the Royal Liver Building, Blackpool Tower and the London Eye were glowing purple on Saturday evening.

Holocaust Memorial Day remembers the six million Jews murdered, other groups who suffered and died under Nazi persecution including Roma and homosexuals, as well as victims of more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The Holocaust was the systematic murder of European Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators from 1941 during the Second World War.

January 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Each year a theme is chosen for the occasion, and this year it is the fragility of freedom.

The chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, Karen Pollock, said this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day will be “really difficult” against the backdrop of the Hamas-Israel conflict.

The “huge increase in antisemitism” since the October 7 attacks by Hamas on Israel means the Jewish community will mark the occasion with “heavier hearts”, she told the PA news agency.

“It’s a difficult time, but that doesn’t stop us from coming together and recognising what was a seismic event in history whose repercussions are still felt today,” she added.

In a picture released on the royal family account on X on Friday, King Charles was shown lighting a candle with the Queen earlier this week to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Charles issued a message ahead of the commemorations, describing it as “a valuable opportunity for the richly diverse communities of this nation to come together and recommit to building a society free from antisemitism, persecution and hatred”.

It was taken before the King went into hospital on Friday to undergo treatment for an enlarged prostate.

Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust survivor Joan Salter lights a memorial candle at her home in north London (Yui Mok/PA)

People across the nation were encouraged to light candles and put them safely in their windows to light the darkness against prejudice and hatred.