Civic, political, faith and community leaders from across Greater Manchester gathered in Manchester Cathedral today to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day at the first city-region wide event of its kind.

Hosted by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Canon Dr David Holgate, sub-dean of Manchester Cathedral, the event was one of more than 11,000 taking place across the country in schools, workplaces, local authorities, libraries and many more varied settings.

It took place just days before the official Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January.

Those present heard Holocaust survivor Ruth Lachs from Bury speak about her experiences and musical performances from Royal Northern College of Music musicians and Spirit & Soul Choir.

“It is right that Greater Manchester is holding its first city-region wide Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration event,” said Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

“By coming together in this way, we can send the loudest of messages, that this is a place which rejects hate in all its forms and has an enduring belief in the innate equality of all people.

“As fewer and fewer survivors of the Holocaust remain with us, it is more vital than ever that we ensure the next generation learn the lessons of that terrible atrocity and the other tragic genocides that have taken place around the world. Events like these remind us of our collective duty to challenge hatred wherever we see it, or face the consequences of our collective silence.

“I’m grateful to all those who spoke, The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and Association of Jewish Refugees for their support and to the Cathedral for agreeing to host this event.”

David Holgate, sub-dean of Manchester Cathedral, said: “Our Cathedral is actively committed to challenging all forms of hate crime, and so we are very glad to be hosting this important Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration.

“We hope the event will help us all with the process of our own inner change. As Etty Hillesum wrote before she was killed in Auschwitz in 1943, ‘I no longer believe we can change anything in the world until we first change ourselves.’”

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