A candlelit parade and ceremony took place to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Hertsmere Borough Council leader, Morris Bright MBE, the Mayor of Hertsmere Cllr Charles Goldstein, and Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss CBE were joined by a number of residents and council officers for the march through Radlett on January 25.

Hertsmere Volunteer Police Cadets were on hand to support the parade along with the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade.

The group walked from Radlett station, down Watling Street, to the Radlett Centre, where a ceremony took place.

This included a two-minute silence, speeches from the Mayor and Cllr Bright, videos, Joanna Millan's life story, candle lighting and performances from Elissa Street and Yavneh College.

Borehamwood Times:

Mrs Millan was born in Berlin in August 1942 as Bela Rosenthal. When she was just six months old, her father was taken to Auschwitz where he was murdered. Bela, with her mother in June 1943, were sent to the Terezin ghetto, north of Prague. But Bela’s mother contracted tuberculosis and Bela became orphaned.

Bela spent a year in the camp before being rescued by the Red Cross and flown to England alongside 299 other orphans.

Her name was changed to Joanna and she was adopted by a Jewish couple.

Joanna, who has since married and had three children, never knew about her past until her early forties but now regularly shares her experiences of the Holocaust.

Cllr Goldstein said: "The poignant and moving parade and ceremony were held as part of international memorial events as an opportunity for people to pause to remember the millions of people who have been affected by the Nazi Holocaust and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

"Local authorities have a vital role to play in commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day, helping to bring together the diverse strands of our communities to commemorate the day."

Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated January 27 each year as this is the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the Soviet Army liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.