William And Kate Light Candles To Commemorate Holocaust

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined genocide survivors to light candles at an International Holocaust Memorial Day event in London.

The royals, PM Boris Johnson and faith leaders attended the service in London, to mark 75 years since the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz was liberated.

The duke gave a reading and the couple spoke to survivors of the Holocaust and more recent genocides.

Earlier, dozens of world leaders joined survivors at Auschwitz in Poland.

At Central Hall in Westminster, survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides, and their relatives, spoke of their experiences during an hour-long event hosted by BBC newsreader Huw Edwards.

Holocaust survivors Arek Hersh, Mala Tribich, Yvonne Bernstein, Eva Clarke, Rachel Levy and Manfred Goldberg all lit ceremonial candles.

And there were dramatic readings of first-hand accounts of the horrors experienced during the genocide by actors Nina Wadia, Rebecca Front, Martin Shaw and Sir Simon Russell Beale.

In a speech, Prince William paid tribute to his great-grandmother Princess Alice, who he said risked her own life to save a Jewish family – the Cohens – in Athens in 1943.

Alice’s bravery was recognised by Israel which in 1993 posthumously bestowed the title of Righteous Among the Nations on her.

Reading from a letter written by a friend of the princess, Prince William said: “The members of the Cohen family left the residence three weeks after liberation, aware that… the princess’s generosity and bravery had spared them from the Nazis.”

The Duchess of Cambridge later praised survivors and their relatives for sharing their “heartbreaking” stories at the event and she said she and William found the ceremony “very poignant”.

Mr Johnson told those listening he felt a “deep sense of shame” that anti-Semitism continued in the UK today.

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