Holocaust Memorial Service in Caister marks 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz

A Holocaust Memorial Day service being held at Caister Borough Cemetery.January 2015.Picture: James

A Holocaust Memorial Day service being held at Caister Borough Cemetery.January 2015.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

The millions of people killed in the Nazi Holocaust and other genocides were remembered at a service in Great Yarmouth today.

Prayers were said at the Jewish cemetery in Caister where around 50 people gathered to remember the attempted annihilation of Jews in Europe during the Second World War.

This year's event also marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and saw the symbolic sharing of bread aimed at bringing people together.

The Rev Canon Chris Terry said: 'Today we gather to hold this simple act of remembrance because all of us have a duty to keep alive the memories of all those who lost their lives in the camps.

'With each passing year the actual survivors become fewer and fewer, yet for their descendents it remains more than a memory. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberating of the camps when the horror of what took place became clear to all.

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'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 the camps makes us confront each year those four key questions: What happened? How did it happen? How could it happen? Could it happen again today?'

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Among those at the service and attending for the first time was Michael Zegerman, of Caister.

The 69-year-old said he had only recently discovered that his mother's aunt and uncle perished in Theresienstadt.

'My mother came out of Germany in the early 1930s,' he said. 'She went to South Africa settling in London in 1937 and they managed to get her parents out in 1939. My grandfather, a veterinary surgeon, was a major in the German army in the First World War and I have only recently found out that my mothers aunt and uncle were murdered.

'I have come here today for the first time having read about previous services and I am moved that people are commemorating this event. British people seem to do this better than anyone else. It is quite moving.'

Holocaust Memorial Day was started by the UK government in 2001 and takes place every year on January 27.

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