Picture gallery: Redbridge Holocaust Memorial Day 2015

Rabbi Sufrin speaking at the Holocaust Memorial service at Holocaust Memorial Garden in Valentines P

Rabbi Sufrin speaking at the Holocaust Memorial service at Holocaust Memorial Garden in Valentines Park in Ilford - Credit: Archant

The fallout of the Paris terror attacks could be clearly felt as faith leaders, councillors and school children marked Holocaust Memorial Day today (Tuesday).

Hundreds turned out at the Holocaust memorial garden in Valentines Park, Ilford, to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp.

Delivering a powerful speech, Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin said he had seen surveys which said over half of Jews in Britain “don’t feel safe to walk the streets” today.

He said: “Up the road from here, an event being promoted exactly like this on a bus stop was daubed with ‘liars’.

“Why is it today, outside my synagogue, the police force have to be standing there to protect us?

“We can never draw a line under the Holocaust. We can never say we’ve learnt enough.

“We always have to be concerned about who’s going to be the next victim of prejudice.

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“With the Jews, it began with calling names, then the burning of books, then the burning of buildings.

“If I walk down the street and someone calls me a ‘something’ Jew, is it the beginning of something to follow?”

And Cllr Alan Weinberg, who coordinated the event, said: “Today is not a Jewish day, today is a day when good people come together to remember and to pray.

“I ask that you remember what happened in Paris three weeks ago. That was an attack on democracy and freedom of speech, whether one agrees with what was being said or not.”

At the service Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Ashley Kissin read the Kaddish, a Jewish prayer, followed by readings of poems and extracts from survivors’ memories from school pupils.

Following the service, headteacher of Al-Noor Primary School Someera Butt said: “We are proud to stand in solidarity with our neighbours and members of humanity against all forms of prejudice and discrimination.”

And John Martin, 72, who lives in Clayhall, said: “It’s good that there are children here. Hopefully they will pass the message on that it must never happen again.”

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