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Great Yarmouth remembers Holocaust victims

13:54 27 January 2013

Residents gather for the Holocaust Memorial Day service at the Jewish cemetery in Blackfriars Road, Great Yarmouth

Residents gather for the Holocaust Memorial Day service at the Jewish cemetery in Blackfriars Road, Great Yarmouth

Archant

Silence fell over a small corner of Great Yarmouth this afternoon as residents turned out to remember the victims of the Holocaust.

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The congregation gathered in the Jewish cemetery in Blackfriars Road for the annual Holocaust Memorial Day service, led by Yarmouth team rector Rev Christopher Terry.

Heads bowed as the congregation heard prayers and a reading from the Hebrew bible, and watched silently as wreaths and flowers were laid at the foot of the graves.

Rev Terry said people had a “duty” to keep the memories of those who perished in concentration camps across Europe alive.

He added: “Each passing year the actual survivors of the camps become fewer and fewer, yet for their descendents it remains more than a memory.

“It is important the Holocaust should remain real and ever present and that the passage of time should not be allowed to make it seem as a part of history that is best forgotten.

“Keeping alive the memory of all who died in those camps makes us confront each year those four questions; what happened? How did it happen? How could it happen? Could it happen again?”

Among those in the congregation was second world war veteran Neville Howell, who has been coming to the memorial day service every year since they started in 2000.

The 90 year old served in the 73rd anti-tank regiment and witnessed the horrors of the concentration camps, as he was among the Allied troops that helped liberate Bergen Belsen in northern Germany.

Mr Howell, from Gorleston, said: “I saw Bergen Belsen and the expression on the faces of the people behind the wire, waving to us appreciating that they had come to be liberated.”

He followed Great Yarmouth Mayor Colleen Walker in laying flowers during the service, and thought it was very important that people remember the Holocaust.

“I think there’s a large danger of people forgetting the history behind the Holocaust, it should not be forgotten,” he added.

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