Millions of people who were brutally murdered by the Nazis have been remembered by a borough.

On Sunday, the day before Holocaust Memorial Day, hundreds of people across Barnet gathered at the Rickett Quadrangle at Middlesex University, Hendon to remember the millions of Jewish people and minority groups who were victim to Nazi persecution.

Monday, January 27 marked 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, just months before the second World War ended.

Around six million Jewish people were murdered by the Nazis before and during the War, with other communities including BAME, religious minorities, LGBT+, political opponents and those disabled also murdered.

Worshipful Mayor of Barnet Councillor Caroline Stock, who led commemorations at Middlesex University, described how her grandparents escaped Nazi Germany to set up a new home in Finchley in 1933, the year that Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.

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Hundreds of people gathered for the service

She also spoke about a trip to Auschwitz after becoming Mayor of Barnet, a borough with one of the largest Jewish populations

She said: “It changed my life – because today I stand before you as a Jew who needs to publicly acknowledge that I am very proud of my heritage.”

Holocaust survivor Ivan Shaw described how when he was just five years old when his parents were transported to Auschwitz in May 1944 after the Nazis invaded Hungary. He never saw his parents again.

Mr Shaw added that he was taken to a prison and transit camp by the Gestapo, but was saved by one of his father’s sisters, who bribed local officials and police.

She kept him safe for the next seven months until the Soviet Union liberated their village in October 1944.

Mr Shaw said: “We are now living in a time of increasing intolerance and hate – hatred because of difference in colour, religion, culture or even political views. We now know where this can lead. If you forget what has been learned from history, there is a danger it can be repeated.”

Bernd Koschland, another Holocaust survivor from Fuerth, near Nuremberg, also took part in the service.

He was one of 10,000 children who escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport to Britain in 1939. He also never saw his parents again.

Mr Koschland said: “I think Holocaust Memorial Day is an important occasion. It should be a message for the future: ‘Never again.’ I settled here as a kid aged eight, just eight, and made my way, not forgetting the past, but building for the future.”

Mr Koschland was awarded an MBE for his services to Holocaust education and awareness in the 2018 New Year’s Honours.