Survivors light candles in London to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust survivors gathered in Piccadilly Circus to light candles and remember victims of genocide on Holocaust Memorial Day Credit: PA

Holocaust survivors gathered in central London to light candles and remember the victims of genocide on Holocaust Memorial Day.

A group of nearly 30 survivors and their families stood on the steps of Piccadilly Circus on Thursday to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, as well as the millions from other groups killed under Nazi persecution.

The day is also used to remember the millions killed in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The landmark junction’s giant billboard displayed portraits of them and fellow survivors and a film was also screened showing people, including political and religious leaders, lighting candles to mark the day.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: "Holocaust Memorial Day is such an important day for everybody in the country to come together and we’re doing so at a time when the world can feel quite fragile and we can quit feel quite vulnerable to division and hostility.

"We only saw yesterday an antisemitic attack with two people being assaulted.

Battersea Power Station lit up in purple for Holocaust Memorial day

"And that can leave people feeling particularly vulnerable, so to be able to come into the heart of London, into Piccadilly Circus and see photographs of Holocaust survivors in enormous displays, and to be able to celebrate the lives they have rebuilt in Britain just feels a very profound moment."

National landmarks lit up in purple, including the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, the Natural History Museum and Cardiff Castle.

Households across the UK joined the commemorations by lighting a candle in their window at 8pm.

A candle was also burning in the window of the Prime Minister’s residence 10 Downing Street.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place each year on January 27, which marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the largest Nazi death camp, in 1945.