FAITH and civic leaders in Bradford are joining forces to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which has the theme ‘Fragility of Freedom’.

Saturday (January 27) is Holocaust Memorial Day, which remembers the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust and the victims of more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Schools have been invited to a Holocaust Memorial event at City Hall tomorrow, and Bradford Cathedral will remember the Holocaust and other genocides at evensong on Sunday.

This week, at the Holocaust Centre North in Huddersfield, an evening of commemoration was attended by Holocaust survivors and representatives of other communities who have suffered persecution. Refugees and artists dramatised a poem on Fragility of Freedom, written collectively by people from Ukraine, Sudan, Kurdish Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and those with Jewish heritage.

Bradford Cathedral has created online resources to mark HMD, including a profile of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German priest who spoke out in opposition of the Nazi regime - and paid with his life.

Dietrich visited Bradford in 1933 to attend a conference of German Protestant priests, held at the German Evangelical church in Little Horton. German Protestant Church leaders were being coerced into expelling people from Jewish backgrounds and revealing their identity to the Nazis.

At the Bradford conference, Dietrich spoke out against the Nazi persecution, and how some members of the Church were not opposing their policies. A written declaration was signed in the Little Horton church by those attending the conference, opposing any agreement between the Church and the Nazis which leading to the persecution of Jewish people in Germany.

Dietrich returned to Germany where he was arrested. He spent much of the war imprisoned and was executed on April 9, 1945 at Flossenburg Concentration Camp.

The building where the Bradford Declaration was signed is today the German Church and Delius Arts Centre, named after Bradford-born composer Frederick Delius, whose German parents donated funds to build the church.

In 2008 a new Bradford Declaration against hatred and racism was signed in the church. A candle was lit by Bradford Synagogue chairman Rudi Leavor, a Holocaust survivor.

This week survivors of genocide called for people to understand, empathise with and value each other, and condemned the rise of prejudice. Survivors joined senior politicians, actors and faith leaders at a Holocaust Memorial ceremony in London to commemorate 79 years since the Holocaust, and 30 years since the Rwandan genocide.