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Holocaust survivor attends Belfast City Hall event to mark Auschwitz liberation

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A Holocaust survivor weeps at Auschwitz

A Holocaust survivor weeps at Auschwitz

AFP via Getty Images

Survivors lay wreaths at Buchenwald camp

Survivors lay wreaths at Buchenwald camp

AP

The Duchess of Cambridge chats with survivor Yvonne Bernstein at the UK Holocaust memorial ceremony

The Duchess of Cambridge chats with survivor Yvonne Bernstein at the UK Holocaust memorial ceremony

Getty Images

Junior Ministers Gordon Lyons (left) and Declan Kearney (right) with Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental at Belfast City Hall

Junior Ministers Gordon Lyons (left) and Declan Kearney (right) with Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental at Belfast City Hall

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

A Holocaust survivor weeps at Auschwitz

A man who survived the horrors of the Nazi death camps lit a candle of remembrance in Belfast as the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation was marked worldwide.

Tomas (Tomi) Reichental was among more than 500 people who gathered at City Hall last night for a Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration.

About 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were murdered at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Yesterday the presidents of Israel and Poland - Reuven Rivlin and Andrzej Duda - laid wreaths together at the former death camp, 75 years after it was liberated by Soviet troops.

Mr Reichental, who along with his family was held in the Bergen-Belsen camp from 1944 to 1945, was the keynote speaker at the event in Belfast.

One of only three Holocaust survivors currently living in Ireland, he regularly gives talks aimed at educating people about the Holocaust.

He said: "I didn't speak about my experiences for more than 50 years, but now I tell my story in order to educate young people and make sure history doesn't repeat itself.

"I am glad I have been able to share my story with so many people in Northern Ireland and I look forward to many more visits in the future."

During the event, Mr Reichenlit a candle of remembrance and hope to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.

Speaking at the event, Daniel Baker, Lord Mayor of Belfast, said: "Holocaust Memorial Day is an important reminder of a terrible legacy, but one which should not be forgotten.

"Remembering the Holocaust and subsequent genocides provides us with an opportunity to reflect and remember all those who suffered."

In London, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined Holocaust survivors at a commemorative service.

William read an extract from a letter written by a friend of his great-grandmother Princess Alice - famed for saving a Jewish family from the Holocaust - about her good deeds.

The royal couple lit candles in memory of those killed in genocides and met survivors following the ceremony at Central Hall in Westminster.

Belfast Telegraph