January 27, 2015
70th anniversary of Auschwitz to be marked in Highbridge today

Highbridge's Frank Foley Statue is to be part of a nationwide event to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau on Tuesday (27th January).

The Frank Foley Statue in Market Street will host a candle designed by Sir Anish Kapoor as part of a national initiative that will see 70 candles lit at Holocaust Memorial Day events across the UK.

Joyce Curtis, Chairman of the former Frank Foley Committee, will light the candle during a short service to be conducted around the statue by Rev Sharon Crossman, Vicar of St John's Church.

The service will be held at 12 mid-day to begin a moment of reflection honouring the survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

Highbridge War Memorial Trust, which has commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day since 2006, was chosen from hundreds of applications sent to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which is the charity responsible for marking Holocaust Day in the UK.

Event organiser on behalf of the Trust, Joyce Curtis, told "Holocaust Memorial Day is an important focal point in the year and we are pleased that Highbridge has been selected to be part of this nationwide commemoration. It is vital that we remember and reflect upon the horrors of the past, and honour those who survived."

Frank FoleyShe added that all will be welcome to attend the event, which will also be attended by the Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council, Cllr Peter Downing, and the Mayor of Burnham and Highbridge, Cllr Martin Cox.

Highbridge-born Frank Foley, right, was employed as a Passport Control Officer in Berlin from 1920 until 1939. In his role, he was able to help hundreds of Jews escape from Nazi Germany before the outbreak of World War Two. He had no diplomatic immunity and put himself at great risk by helping to save the lives of 10,000 Jews.

Sir Ainish's candles will also be lit at a national commemorative event in central London and at Auschwitz as part of international commemorations taking place on 27th January.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, says: "Sir Ainsh Kapoor has created a beautiful candle to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. When all 70 of their candles are lit throughout the country, it will be a poignant moment of remembrance and a time for us all to ensure we keep the memory alive."

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day and the events taking place click here.

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