Wales marks Holocaust Memorial Day in online events

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image copyrightGetty Images/AFP
image captionThis year's theme is being the light in the darkness

The Prince of Wales has joined famous faces from the worlds of sport and showbusiness in urging people to remember Holocaust Memorial Day.

The comments from Prince Charles, patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, come amid a dwindling number of people able to bear first-hand witness.

Millions of Jewish people and other minorities were executed during World War Two at the hands of the Nazis.

People have been urged to light a candle in their window to show support.

Buildings and landmarks will be bathed in purple light, including Cardiff Castle, Haverfordwest county hall in Pembrokeshire, the Civic Centre in Ebbw Vale, Ty Penallta in Caerphilly and Newport Civic Centre.

A recording of this year's Wales National Ceremony will be made available on Cardiff Council's YouTube channel at 11:00, with contributors including First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Flintshire council is holding a two-minute silence at 11:00, and the Joseph Herman Art Foundation is hosting its own online event.

image copyrightSwansea council
image captionA candle display marked Holocaust Memorial Day a few years ago at a Swansea school

Mr Drakeford said: "It is important we mark these poignant milestones, to reflect on how we can learn from these terrible events and do all we can, as individuals, communities and friends, to show solidarity with those who still suffer persecution."

Newport council leader Jane Mudd added: "This is not just about the past, we must challenge prejudice and the language of hatred that exists today, even on our own doorsteps. We want a safer world for everyone."

The traditional UK remembrance ceremony will be held online from 19:00 because of lockdown rules, with people asked to display their candle when it finishes if safe to do so.

Pre-recorded messages from the likes of Premier League footballers Jordan Henderson and Bruno Fernandes, plus contributions from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, religious leaders, and celebrity adventurer Bear Grylls, will all feature in the online service.

This year's theme - being the light in the darkness - was decided 18 months ago, before the pandemic hit.

Prince Charles will tell the ceremony: "As I speak, the last generation of living witnesses is tragically passing from this world, so the task of bearing witness falls to us.

"This is not a task for one time only, nor is it a task for one generation, or one person. It is for all people, all generations, and all time.

"This is our time when we can, each in our own way, be the light that ensures the darkness can never return."

image captionThis year's memorial will look a lot different to those in previous years

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said survivors were the perfect inspiration for positivity.

"There has been real distress and pain and suffering felt in this country and around the world in this pandemic.

"But the survivors I spoke to - many who are shielding - are the epitome of strength and are getting on with it.

"Bearing in mind what they have experienced and suffered, they give words of wisdom to just keep going, we are going to get out of this."

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