The public in North Yorkshire have been urged to come together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day this weekend and remember the millions of people who suffered in some of the worst atrocities that the world has witnessed.
The international event is staged each year to remember those who died at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War as well as in genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and in Darfur, Sudan.
Saturday, January 27, marks the 79th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, and events are being held across the country to remember this and other atrocities.
Fragility of Freedom is the theme chosen this year by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, the charity established and funded by the UK Government to promote and support Holocaust Memorial Day.
The trust asks that people reflect on how freedom is fragile and vulnerable to abuse and urges us not to take freedom for granted while considering what we can do to strengthen these rights around the world.At County Hall in Northallerton, the Union flag will be raised to half-mast tomorrow and remain flying over the weekend to mark the occasion.
North Yorkshire Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, said: “Holocaust Memorial Day offers an opportunity to pause and reflect on the atrocities of the past and remember the millions of people who have lost their lives.
“It is important that as a society we learn lessons from what has happened so that we might create a safer and more secure future for everyone.”
Throughout January, libraries at Boroughbridge, Great Ayton, Stokesley, Harrogate, Northallerton, Pickering, Ripon, Skipton and the Supermobile mobile library have staged displays of posters, educational materials and books highlighting the events.
A special collection of e-books and e-audiobooks is available for borrowers from digital library provider, Borrowbox. North Yorkshire residents can download the collection for free using the BorrowBox app or via the digital library website. An e-audio collection is also available via the platform Libby.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for libraries, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “Our libraries have a significant part to play in ensuring events of the past, such as the Holocaust, are not forgotten.
“Across North Yorkshire we have a huge wealth of resources designed to educate and inform people and I would encourage residents to make use of these as we mark this important date.”
For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day and the events and activities taking place, visit hmd.org.uk.