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Six hundred candles in the shape of the Star of David will be lit at York Minster on Wednesday 25 January 2023, to remember more than 6 million Jewish people and the many other groups murdered by the Nazis in the Second World War and the millions who have died in the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The Minster’s act of commemoration is part of a week-long programme of events taking place across the city of York to mark international Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on the 27 January each year. The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp – the largest Nazi death camp – in 1945.
The event at York Minster will begin with a Choral Evensong service at 5.30pm which is attended by representatives from York’s Jewish community and other faith communities.
This will be followed by a procession to the cathedral’s Chapter House for the act of commemoration, which also includes readings, music, poetry, prayers and periods of silence for quiet reflection.
The Revd Canon Maggie McLean, Canon Missioner at York Minster, said: “The international theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 is ‘Ordinary People’, which encourages people to reflect on the importance of those ordinary men and women who, although caught up in the events that surround them, find courage and humanity not to dehumanise other people and who offer small acts of kindness which might just be all it takes to give hope and offer a tiny glimmer of light in the darkest of moments”.
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