Candle burns at Havant service to commemorate atrocities

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A SINGLE candle flame burned brightly to remember the millions of people who have lost their lives in genocide.

Havant was one of only 70 places in the country to receive one of 70 candles designed to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschswitz-Birkenau.

Havant Holocaust Memorial pic by Jeff Travis CREDIT''Steven Schrier, 77, from Hayling Island, who lost three quarters of his German family in the Holocaust, lays a wreath at Havant Holocaust Memorial''From: Jeff Travis <Jeff.travis@thenews.co.uk>

Havant Holocaust Memorial pic by Jeff Travis CREDIT''Steven Schrier, 77, from Hayling Island, who lost three quarters of his German family in the Holocaust, lays a wreath at Havant Holocaust Memorial''From: Jeff Travis <Jeff.travis@thenews.co.uk>

More than 100 people gathered at Havant Cemetery to observe a minute’s silence next to the town’s Holocaust Memorial.

There were powerful, moving speeches and poems read out by members of the Jewish, gypsy and freemason community.

Hayling Councillor Leah Turner, who is Jewish, read out the United Nations Statement of Commitment, including the words: ‘We condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism. We value a free, tolerant and democratic society’.

The candle was lit by Steven Schrier, 77, from Hayling Island, and students Erin Stott, 18, and Sam Chadwick, 16, who both attend Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville and recently visited the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Mr Schrier lost three quarters of his German family in the Holocaust.

He said: ‘It’s so important to remember what terrible things a cultured country like Germany could actually do in the 20th century.

‘Civilisation is only skin deep and it could happen almost anywhere.’

A service was also held in Portsmouth.