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All eyes on Newcastle

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-01-27

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The northern city of Newcastle will be the focus of this weekend's Holocaust Memorial Day as it hosts the main national event to remember the millions of Jews and non-Jews who were murdered in Europe by the Nazi regime during World War II.

The Newcastle event will take place at the city's Theatre Royal and will see participation from a number of people including Communities Minister Ruth Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathon Sacks and actor Henry Goodman.

Members of the public will also take part. Nine-year-old schoolboy Tutu Manyena from Zimbabwe, will light a memorial candle at the end of the event with Newcastle resident Chaim Nagelsztajn who survived Majdanek and Auschwitz extermination camps.

As well as reflecting on the victims and survivors of World War II, the event will see remembrance and reflection to more recent genocides including Darfur.

"We are honoured that Newcastle is hosting the national event for Holocaust Memorial Day 2007.  We have a proud history as a welcoming and inclusive city which takes a strong stand against prejudice," said Newcastle City Council leader John Shipley. "The event is an important occasion for us as we remember the millions of people killed during the Holocaust and in other atrocities around the world.  It is also an opportunity for us as a city and country to reflect on what the past can teach us about living together in the modern world.”

Earlier in the day, Newcastle will also hold a civic reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Diane Packham.

While also during the day, a drawing representing the Holocaust Memorial Day flame will be laid out on the pavement outside the Theatre Royal by six artists from Dodgy Clutch Theatre Company.