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Sunday, 27 January, 2002, 22:08 GMT
Nations remember Holocaust victims
Jewish prisoners at concentration camp
The day commemorated all victims of the Nazi camps
Events were held across the globe to commemorate the second annual Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday.

The day falls on the 57th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz - one of the most infamous Nazi death camps - during World War II.

Extreme right demo in Berlin
Far right protests are on the increase in Germany
Rallies and church services were held in memory of all the victims of the Nazi camps.

It is only the second time that the victims of the Holocaust have received international attention on the same day.

Germany has held its own annual remembrance day for the past seven years. Israel also has its own day.

However Holocaust Memorial Day is an international commemoration.

This year events took place in a number of countries, including Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Israel.

Wreathes laid

However the spotlight was on Germany, which has seen an increasing number of demonstrations by the far right in recent months.

Wreathes were laid at former concentration camps and a ceremony was held rewarding non-Jewish Germans for their work in Jewish history.

A special screening was also held in Germany's parliament building for the documentary "I was a Slave Labourer", which focused on the establishment of a compensation fund for Holocaust victims.

At Auschwitz in Poland, about 200 survivors and relatives of victims gathered to lay flowers and offer prayers to the more than 1.5 million victims who died at the camp.

Italy broadcast a documentary telling the story of Giorgio Perlasca, an Italian fascist who saved more than 5,000 Jews.

The country's commemorations were overshadowed by a new survey that found that anti-semitism was on the rise in Italy.

Remembering the dead

Russia and Israel also held ceremonies to remember the dead.

British Home Secretary David Blunkett at the Manchester ceremony
Blunkett urged people to stand up against racism

And in Britain, Home Secretary David Blunkett made a speech at Britain's annual Holocaust Memorial Service in Manchester where he urged people to stand up to bigotry and prejudice and continue the fight against racism.

The day is principally designed to remember the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. But it also commemorates millions of other victims, including gypsies, homosexuals and disabled people.

The organisers said they wanted to provide a national mark of respect for all victims of Nazi persecution, but also to use it as a platform to reflect on recent atrocities, like the genocide in Rwanda.

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