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Red crosses remember disabled people killed by Nazi regime

The project is named after the 70,273 people killed Photo: ITV News Tyne Tees

Thousands of pairs of red crosses are on display at Durham Cathedral this weekend, as part of an international project to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.

For more than a year, community groups, schools and individuals have been creating pairs of red crosses. Each pair represents a person with disabilities, who was killed by the Nazi regime in the early 1940s. The idea began in the United States and has since been adopted elsewhere.

A completed banner on display in Durham Cathedral Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Members of Coxhoe Quilt Group have played a major role in the project, though contributions have also come from elsewhere in County Durham. Crosses have been sewn, knitted and drawn.

Members of Coxhoe quilt group at work Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

It is shining light on a dark corner of history and something that a lot of people aren't very aware of and I think just as today, people with disabilities may well find themselves ignored and forgotten, this is a way of raising a wider awareness, not just of what happened in the past, but of people today.

– Mary Turner, Project Ambassador

The venture has been named the 70273 Project; a reference to the number of people with disabilities killed by the Nazis in the years 1940-41.

Alongside the Durham display, similar exhibitions are taking place in the Channel Islands and in Kent.

The eventual aim is to create 70,273 pairs of crosses. It is estimated that the project is currently around half way to that target.

A selection of the crosses on display Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The crosses are on display at Durham Cathedral throughout the weekend.