A CHILD survivor of the Holocaust will be the guest speaker at an event in Bradford to remember victims of genocide.

The Holocaust Memorial Day event will be at City Hall on Friday, from 10.30-11.30am, attended by Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Martin Love, civic and faith leaders and schoolchildren. It is organised in partnership with trustees from Bradford Reform Synagogue.

Friday, January 27 is the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

A welcome from the Lord Mayor will be followed by messages from Council leader Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chief Executive Kersten England and Director of Bradford Hate Crime Alliance Charles Dacres. Poems will be read by pupils from Belle Vue Girls Academy and Eden Boys Leadership Academy.

Guest speaker Hanneke Dye is a Dutch Jewish child survivor who lives in Craven. Other speakers will include Bishop of Bradford Toby Howarth, Mohammed Amran, CEO of Council of Mosques and Rabbi Anthony Gilbert.

This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme is Ordinary People. It reminds us that ordinary people were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust and in genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, as perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses - and victims.

On Thursday Pupils from Belle Vue Girls Academy and Eden Boys Leadership Academy will gather at City Hall for a debate on genocide.

Lord Mayor Cllr Love said: “Each year that we mark Holocaust Memorial Day it becomes even more poignant as the number of survivors alive to share their testimony dwindles.

"This event gives the opportunity to remember those who have died in past genocides and recognise the suffering of those affected by the impact of more recent atrocities around the world.”

Members of Bradford Synagogue and other faiths lit candles during a service at Bradford Cathedral on Sunday.

A plaque in memory of Rudi Leavor, who was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2017 for this interfaith work, has been unveiled at Bradford Synagogue. Rudi, who died in 2021, aged 95, was chairman of Bradford Synagogue.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Plaque dedicated to Rudi Leavor Plaque dedicated to Rudi Leavor (Image: Submitted)

He came to Bradford in 1937, aged 11, with his parents and sister, after fleeing Nazi Germany. In 2020 Rudi told the T&A of a chilling reminder of the Holocaust, which claimed many members of his family. After leaving Bradford Grammar he did National Service and was sent to Austria. “In Munich station, the train on the neighbouring track had its destination sign right opposite my window - Dachau. It was the first time I had come face-to-face with the name of a concentration camp,” he said. “It was 1954, the horrors of the Holocaust were rarely discussed. The sight of this destination plate was more disturbing than I can describe. In that train I could see people reading the paper, talking about everyday matters. Did they not appreciate that the track they were on had taken people to death camps? I was glad when we pulled out of the station and that dreaded word was out of sight.”