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President hosts candlelit vigil for those who perished

Candles were lit at Dublin's Mansion House yesterday evening to commemorate the millions of victims who were "slaughtered" in concentration camps during the Second World War.

President Michael D Higgins addressed the audience which included Holocaust survivors, politicians and members of the Jewish community, highlighting the importance of remembering the tragic event.

Around six million Jews were killed in Nazi concentration camps, as well as gypsies, homosexuals and people with disabilities.

"We are approaching a time when the Holocaust will become a chapter that has passed from the possibility of personal recall into history.

"It will remain important that future generations learn about and comprehend that baleful chapter in World history, and all of the hateful assumptions and practices that preceded it," Mr Higgins said.

VICTIMS

"In the decades to come, the literature of the Holocaust and indeed its representation in film and in other media, as well as the preservation of the archives of the period will then take on an ever greater importance," he added.

The President also met Holocaust survivors Tomi Reichental(79) and Suzi Diamond(71), as well as Irish RAF veteran Albert Sutton who was part of the platoon that liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald were in attendance, and children from the Startford College secondary school read out the names of Holocaust victims. The Chief Justice Susan Denham and the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Boaz Modai were also present.

Mr Higgins also acknowledged the importance surviving victims play in remembering the awful events of WWII.

hnews@herald.ie


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