YOUNG and old from all backgrounds, races and religions will stand side by side to remember the victims of the Holocaust.

Holocaust Memorial Day will be commemorated by schoolchildren, civic and community leaders on Wednesday.

Mayor of Bolton Cllr Guy Harkin, will open the town's annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony, the theme of which this year is Communities Together — Build a Bridge.

This year marks the 68th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp The ceremony will take place in the Festival Hall at Bolton Town Hall and will pay tribute to all communities affected by the Holocaust.

Candles of hope will be lit.

The event is organised by the Bolton Interfaith Council with Bolton Council.

It will start at 2pm and members of the public are invited to commemorate the day. They are asked to arrive at 1.30pm. Chan Parmar, strategic officer for Bolton Interfaith Council, said: “Remembering the Holocaust victims is important as there are lessons to be learnt from the mistakes of the past. The victims were so cruelly separated from their loved ones and allowed to suffer till death. It was a deliberate attempt to wipe out communities.

“There was no compassion shown in any way. It is vital that in today’s world, we remember such sacrifices. The theme of this year’s events is Communities Together — Build a Bridge. This is a very appropriate theme as we in Bolton have a good track record of working in partnerships to maintain good relations and build respect between communities.”

Cllr Harkin added: “Throughout the country on Holocaust Memorial day, people will be using the occasion to remember the victims and their descendants.

“Our responsibility is to remember those who were persecuted, murdered and the many innocent lives that were wasted for inhumane reasons.

“Our challenge in today’s world is to learn from the mistakes of the past.”

The Holocaust saw the murder of about six million Jews during the Second World War.

More than one million children were killed in the Holocaust, as were some two million women and three million men.

Many were sent to concentration camps, such as Auschwitz in Poland.