RELIGIOUS leaders from across Barnsley will come together to mark one of the biggest Holocaust Memorial Day events organisers have ever put together in its 24-year history.

It will be held on Saturday - January 27 - the date when the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz was liberated in 1945 - in remembrance of all victims of the Holocaust during the Second World War.

The night before, South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard will join MPs, councillors, Horizon Community College pupils and Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders at Barnsley Town Hall to remember victims.

George Arthur, chair of the organising group, said: “I am particularly proud that this important event has been commemorated every year in Barnsley without fail since 2000.

“It continues to be important that we remember the Holocaust and other genocides and remind ourselves and others of the lessons we can learn from past events.

“We have set out this year to widen participation in Holocaust Memorial Day and to raise awareness of the actions that lead to genocides.

“Every genocide starts with the discrimination against and marginalisation of a particular group of people, based on ethnicity, religion or other characteristic.

“With the current global and domestic political and social tensions, it is vital that we recognise the importance of checking and preventing discrimination and hatred as these are the starting points of a potential genocide.”

Holocaust Memorial Day also remembers the victims of later genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.

The Imam for the Barnsley Muslim community, Abdul Aziz, added: “I am pleased to be involved in this event again this year.

“It brings together people from all our communities in Barnsley to say that we need to be united in peace.”