The Prince of Wales has urged people to bear witness to the Holocaust as its last living survivors come to the end of their lives.
In a message recorded for Wednesday’s Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) event, the prince spoke about the its theme of being the light in darkness.
He said: "As I speak, the last generation of living witnesses is tragically passing from this world, so the task of bearing witness falls to us. That is why The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, of which I am so proud to be Patron, has this year chosen the theme – Be the Light in the Darkness.
"This is not a task for one time only; nor is it a task for one generation, or one person. It is for all people, all generations, and all time. This is our time when we can, each in our own way, be the light that ensures the darkness can never return.”
Pre-recorded messages from the likes of Premier League footballers Jordan Henderson and Bruno Fernandes, plus contributions from Prime Minister Boris Johnson will all feature in the online service.
The ceremony will also include contributions from political and religious leaders and survivors of the Holocaust and genocide in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
National landmarks across Britain including Wembley Stadium, the London Eye and the Tyne Bridge will be bathed in purple light at 8pm to mark Wednesday’s memorial, while the traditional remembrance ceremony will be hosted online from 7pm due to lockdown rules.
People have been urged to show their support by lighting a candle in their window following the conclusion of the hour-long ceremony.
Olivia Marks-Woldman OBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said: “As with everything else, we’ve had to change how we mark Holocaust Memorial Day this year.
"Our priority was to keep contributors, especially Holocaust survivors, safe. We are so grateful to everyone who made HMD happen this year: the government, celebrity readers, landmarks and billboards that lit up in purple – and to people across the UK who put candles in their windows.
"It has enabled everyone – despite the pandemic – to learn from genocide for a better future’.