Holocaust Memorial Day marked in Sutton 25.01.11
Members of different faiths gathered in Sutton to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2011.
They attended a civic service at The Europa Gallery in Sutton Library on Sunday (23 January), the 66th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp at the end of the Second World War.
Cllr Simon Wales, Sutton Council's Executive Member for Communities, Transport and Voluntary Sector, said it was a chance to remember people who had lost their lives in the Holocaust – and those who were still being discriminated against today.
He said: "As well as remembrance, the day is about looking forward and trying to create a better, safer future for us all.
"The untold stories of victims and survivors can help us to think about ways we can work together as communities to respect and celebrate differences between us."
The event was compared by Tali Atvers, a member of the Sutton Youth Parliament. It also included an account of Sutton resident Sid Ali Haji Awes' escape from the genocide in Darfur and a speech by the Mayor of Sutton Cllr Margaret Court.
Closing the event, Paul Sarfaty, chairman of Sutton and District Synagogue, added: "It may come as a shock that the racial hatred that drove the events we are commemorating today still festers in the depths of society... in a London borough near you.
"Racial hatred is aimed not just at Jews but at minorities who do not fit convention – born out of ignorance and irrationality."
A Holocaust exhibition is being staged in the Europa Gallery until 31 January.