The 600 people at Sunday’s Leeds civic ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day were urged to learn the lessons of the Shoah.
“It all started with such small little acts,” HMD Trust chair Dr Stephen Smith cautioned. “Small statements, small-minded politics. Eventually, it killed and it killed and it killed.”
Dr Martin Kapel, who was nine when he arrived in the UK on the Kindertransport, likened criticism of the government’s immigration policy to the fears voiced in the 1930s when Jews fled the Nazis.
“We still see many types of hatred in the world today and see people having to flee from their homeland in fear of their lives...Those who cannot learn from history are due to repeat it.”
The commemoration was held at Leeds Town Hall where Lord Mayor Councillor Frank Robinson observed: “The diversity of Leeds reminds us of the significance of this event. We are a city of many different voices.”
The programme included music, drama, film and contributions from modern day refugees.