TWO public ceremonies will be held to mark Holocaust Memorial Day later this month.

The annual event marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, and remembers those who died in the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

A public ceremony will be held at 1pm on Monday, January 29 in the Cornmill Centre, with reflections on the Holocaust followed by a period of silence, and a dance performance by pupils from St Bede's Primary School.

There will also be a recital of a poem written by a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, set to music by the composer Howard Goodall.

A second event will take place in the Victorian Hall at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College on Vane Terrace, on Monday 29th at 7pm. This event is organised by Celebrating Communities and will be a more reflective event, with a message of hope for the future. It will also feature four students talking about their experiences during a recent trip to Auschwitz, along with music performed by college students.

Other events include an art exhibition in Crown Street Library from January 29 to February 2, which includes a Book of Reflection, and a poetry event hosted by the Vane Women writers' group, from 2-4pm in the library on January 29. "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" will be screened at The Forum from 7.30pm on the same day, with admission £3.

Darlington council leader Bill Dixon said: "We want to send out a clear and strong message that everyone is welcome, regardless of age, faith or background."