An emotionally-charged service held at South Shields Town Hall marked Holocaust Memorial Day.
People of all ages gathered to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the Holocaust during the Second World War, as well as victims of genocide around the world.
Yesterday’s service, led by the the Rev Paul Kennedy, heard stories from those who had survived Nazi persecution.
This year’s theme was ‘Journeys’ with youngsters from Hadrian Primary, St Bede’s RC VA Primary and Westoe Crown Primary Schools placing luggage labels on a ‘Tree of Hope’.
Each tag had written on it a step the young people want to take towards making the world a safer, better place.
The event also saw contributions from pupils from Mortimer Community College and St Joseph’s Academy.
In an act of commemoration, seven candles were lit by representatives of the community.
They included the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ernest Gibson, who read the National Declaration, and Deputy Leader of the Council, Coun Alan Kerr, who recited the poem ‘There Is A Last Solitary Coach’.
Coun Gibson said: “It’s important we remember the atrocities of years gone by, in the hope nothing like this happens in the future and it’s only right we remember those whose lives were taken from them in the most cruellest of ways simply because of their race – not only during the Second World War but in subsequent acts of genocide throughout the decades.
“The service itself has been very emotional with time for us all to reflect.
“It was nice to see so many people from across South Tyneside come to the Town Hall to commemorate memorial day.
“I’d also like to thank those young people who shared their own thoughts on the Holocaust and for their presentations.”