A survivor of the Holocaust gave a moving account of his traumatic experiences in Nazi concentration camps at a ceremony to mark National Holocaust Memorial Day.

Eugene Black, 81, spoke of his horrific ordeal which saw him taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau at the age of 16, where he was separated from his family, never to see them again.

He spent the next 11 months being transported between camps where he was forced into slave labour, until he was freed from Bergen Belsen by the British, after his weight had fallen to less than six stone.

Mr Black, who anglicised his name from Schwarcz, was the guest speaker at the National Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony at Victoria Hall, in Saltaire, yesterday.

Speaking to a packed hall, Mr Black praised the event’s theme, Legacy of Hope. He said: “Miracles do happen – how important it is to believe in hope.

“This year’s theme is so important, but I personally must confess I never had any hope that some day I was going to be liberated – but I was.”

A host of dignitaries and representatives of groups who suffered during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides lit candles in memory of those who lost their lives.

Mr Black now regularly speaks to people about the Holocaust, after spending 50 years in silence.

The ceremony was opened by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor John Godward.

He said: “Holocaust Memorial Day marks 65 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“We all have the opportunity to become part of the Legacy of Hope – the memories and experiences of those who suffered from the Holocaust and subsequent holocausts around the world should inform our lives today.”