Holocaust survivor helps mark 70th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz at Islington Assembly Hall

Holocaust survivor Joan Salter tells of her experience

Holocaust survivor Joan Salter tells of her experience - Credit: Archant

The eleven million victims killed in the holocaust were remembered in Islington today as the world marked 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.

Holocaust survivor Joan Salter tells of her experience

Holocaust survivor Joan Salter tells of her experience - Credit: Archant

More than 200 people were at Islington Assembly Hall on Holocaust Memorial Day to hear from survivor Joan Salter and see a presentation from Bosnian refugee Zrinka Bralo.

The pair, who were joined by Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, Islington Council leader Cllr Richard Watts and deputy mayor Cllr Richard Greening, then lead a discussion on lessons to be learned from the genocide as well as taking questions from the audience.

Ms Salter, 75, who survived the genocide, said: “We live in a multi-cultural society, and must value difference. Today we remember the danger of prejudice and what happens when you stop looking at people as human beings.

“The holocaust taught us that when you strip away the thin veneer of civilisation, people can be dangerous.

“The focus of remembrance goes beyond victims – we must never look the other way.”

About six million Jews were killed in the holocaust along with more than a million children, as well as thousands of Roma gypsies and homosexuals.

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Journalist Zrinka Bralo, a Bosnian refugee and Srebenica massacre recorder, said: “No suffering is better than another. It is important we recognise people as human beings wherever we live.

“We can all do something. Just because we are far away we can’t give up on our responsibility to other human beings.”

Pupils from Holloway School read poems at the event and Highbury Fields School band gave a musical performance.

Cllr Richard Watts said: “On Holocaust Memorial Day we remember all the lives cut short by violent prejudice.

“At the same time, we reaffirm our commitment to keeping Islington a diverse and tolerant place where residents of all backgrounds can enjoy life without fear.

“Recent events abroad demonstrate we cannot take society’s freedoms for granted - which is why this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day has particular resonance.

“We are proud to read the Statement of Commitment and teach our young people we must take nothing for granted in the quest for peace.”

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