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Havering remembers the Holocaust and genocides around the world

PUBLISHED: 12:06 25 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:22 25 January 2016

People pay their respects at the commemorative service for Holocaust Memorial Day in Coronation Gardens. Photo: Vickie Flores

People pay their respects at the commemorative service for Holocaust Memorial Day in Coronation Gardens. Photo: Vickie Flores

Vickie Flores/Archant

The survivors and victims of unimaginable horrors around the world were remembered and honoured at a memorial event on Sunday.

People pay their respects at the commemorative service for Holocaust Memorial Day in Coronation Gardens. Photo: Vickie FloresPeople pay their respects at the commemorative service for Holocaust Memorial Day in Coronation Gardens. Photo: Vickie Flores

The annual Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) service was held at Coronation Gardens in Main Road, Romford where multi-faith groups were joined by people and councillors from around the borough.

Cllr Brian Eagling, mayor of Havering, said the day gave people the opportunity to remember the murdered millions and those whose lives were changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

“On Holocaust Memorial Day we honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today,” he said.

People pay their respects at the commemorative service for Holocaust Memorial Day in Coronation Gardens. Photo: Vickie FloresPeople pay their respects at the commemorative service for Holocaust Memorial Day in Coronation Gardens. Photo: Vickie Flores

Cllr Eagling was joined by Rabbi Sunderland in laying a candle during the period of reflection.

National HMD is on Wednesday and it’s theme is “Don’t Stand By” so that lessons from the past can be learned about the ways in which bystanders created cultures where genocides were able to take place.

HMD 2016 Will encourage people today to consider the ways in which they can choose not to be bystanders.

Rabbi Sunderland speaking at the commemorative service for Holocaust Memorial Day in Coronation Gardens. Photo: Vickie FloresRabbi Sunderland speaking at the commemorative service for Holocaust Memorial Day in Coronation Gardens. Photo: Vickie Flores

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel wrote powerfully about the impact of bystanders, she said: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.

“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

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