THE Somerset Holocaust Memorial event takes place in St John's Church, Park Street, Taunton, on Thursday, January 25, from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.

The commemoration is organised by community representatives and Somerset Council.

The civic, secular event remembers acts of genocide and their victims including the Holocaust, with people of all faiths and none welcome.

The programme will include music and the lighting of candles.

Holocaust Memorial Day is a time to remember the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust under Nazi persecution and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

It is an opportunity to learn the lessons of the past and recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own – it is a steady process that can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented.

The theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day is Fragility of Freedom.

A Holocaust Memorial Trust spokesperson said: "Freedom means different things to different people. What is clear is that in every genocide that has taken place, those who are targeted for persecution have had their freedom restricted and removed, before many of them are murdered. This is often a subtle, slow process.

"The ten stages of genocide, as identified by Professor Gregory Stanton, demonstrate that genocide never just happens.

"There is always a set of circumstances which occur, or which are created, to build the climate in which genocide can take place and in which perpetrator regimes can remove the freedoms of those they are targeting.

"Not only do perpetrator regimes erode the freedom of the people they are targeting, demonstrating how fragile freedom is, they also restrict the freedoms of others around them, to prevent people from challenging the regime.

"Despite this, in every genocide there are those who risk their own freedom to help others, to preserve others’ freedom or to stand up to the regime."

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day, visit