DOZENS of people gathered at Basingstoke’s War Memorial to remember the millions of Holocaust victims.

The ceremony was held two days before the national Holocaust Memorial Day – January 27 – which marks the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945.

Following a one-minute silence, the mayor’s spiritual mentor Sheila Peacock gave a short speech in which she called on people to help end all discrimination.

She said: “Holocaust Day – people died – Jews, six million, gypsies, 200,000, people who were gay, lesbian, disabled, or just different. Nobody wants to think about that. After all, it can’t happen here, and it won’t happen again.

“But, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, India at partition, Sri Lanka, a list of shame, and the poisonous legacies their horrors leave behind.

“So let us ask ourselves on Holocaust Day, are you alert to practices here and now that discriminate against people on the basis of who, or what, they are or because of their beliefs? Can we look forward in hope, as well as backwards in horror?”

After the address, Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Councillor Martin Biermann and borough council chief executive Tony Curtis laid a wreath at the memorial. There was then another minute’s silence.