Birmingham’s annual civic commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day will be staged at the Council House, as the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Chaman Lal, leads the event on Monday 29 January.

Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecutions, as well as other genocides around the world. This year’s theme is the Fragility of Freedom – to remember freedoms cannot be taken for granted, and how the Nuremberg Laws removed many freedoms such as expression, faith and self-identity from Jews living in Nazi Germany.

This year’s programme - which is free, open to all and starts at 11am - will feature a candle-lighting ceremony as well as testimony from Mindu Hornick MBE, who will talk about her experiences as a Holocaust survivor, plus performances from violinist Simone Schehtman, as well as poetry and prayer readings. Cllr. Chaman Lal said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for everyone to pause, reflect and learn lessons from the past and apply them to the present day to help create a safer, better future.

“We are coming together to light a candle and remember victims of atrocities and genocides around the world, as well as those who are still sadly losing their lives through war, conflict and hate crime. As a city we must stand united against those that seek to divide us and against all forms of hate.

“I hope as many people as possible will join us at the Council House.” Candles will be lit by the Lord Mayor, Mindu Hornick MBE, Cllr Nicky Brennan, Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities and an ambassador from the Anne Frank Trust. Holocaust Memorial Day was January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps.

People across the UK are being asked to light a candle and safely put it in a window at 8pm, for a national moment of remembrance, and to share on social media using the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness