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Holocaust Memorial Day marked in Gravesend

PUBLISHED: 10:11 29 January 2020

The service in Community Square was led by Rev Jim Fletcher, Rector of St George’'s. Picture: Gravesham Council

The service in Community Square was led by Rev Jim Fletcher, Rector of St George’'s. Picture: Gravesham Council

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Civic leaders and the public in Gravesend took part in a service to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday.

They gathered outside the council offices to hear moving words from local church leaders.

This year, it was especially poignant as it coincided with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

Holocaust Memorial Day also remembers those subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The Mayor of Gravesham, Cllr Gurdip Ram Bungar, raised the Holocaust Memorial Day flag and the flag of the Roma community in Community Square.

The ceremony was conducted by the Rev Jim Fletcher, Rector of St George's.

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He said: "We really do need to learn the lessons of the past and sadly things still go on today.

"There is division and it seems people have not learned these lessons. It is really, really important we learn from the past and remember what people went through which was awful.

"It was a very emotional and poignant occasion."

He added: "Of course it was also an important anniversary with the liberation of Auschwitz so I led prayer and reflection centred on that and sadly genocides that have happened since.

"We had a moment of quiet and stillness and the Roma community was there as well so a flag was raised from their community."

An exhibition in the Blake Gallery at The Woodville runs until January 31. It features items donated by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust featuring true-life stories from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

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