Ed Miliband and Eric Pickles address Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony

Ed Miliband was one of the chief speakers at the Holocaust Memorial Day event in Westminster. (Photo: Courtesy Ed Miliband)

Ed Miliband was one of the chief speakers at the Holocaust Memorial Day event in Westminster. (Photo: Courtesy Ed Miliband)

Labour leader Ed Miliband spoke movingly about the members of his family who lost their lives during the Holocaust, and the need to remain vigilant against antisemitism.

Mr Miliband, who was addressing a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in central London today, said: “I never met my mother’s father - he was taken from the ghetto in Czestochowa in Poland and died in a concentration camp towards the end of the war.

“I first knew about him when I first saw his picture in my grandmother’s house in Israel. I’m here [at this ceremony] for David, the grandfather I never knew. I’m here for David and all my family members on my father and mother’s side who died in the Holocaust.”

He added: “I’m here too for the six million Jews who died and all the other victims of Nazi persecution, and all those who have been the victims of genocide and crimes against humanity.”

Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, invoked this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme of “journeys” by speaking about the personal stories of survivors who were able to start new lives in Britain.

He told the gathering of survivors, ministers, parliamentarians, ambassadors, and civic and religious leaders at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster: “Their new lives did not of course erase the past, but decades after the end of the Third Reich, there are real and continued victories over the obscenities of Nazism.”

Last updated: 10:48pm, January 27 2014