Events commemorating the victims of Nazi persecution took place across Europe today, the seventh annual Holocaust Memorial Day.

The date marks the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

The United Nations General Assembly has marked the date by adopting a resolution condemning Holocaust denial. Only Iran rejected the text.

In Ireland, a commemorative service will take place at the Mansion House tomorrow.

Merkel vows to tackle neo-Nazis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to take tough action against neo-Nazis after a group of far right radicals gathered outside a political event she was attending.

'I am glad to live in a democracy. We know what that means. That is why we will adopt an attitude of zero tolerance towards the forces who want to take us back to National Socialism (Nazis),' Mrs Merkel said today.

About 150 right-wing militants gathered outside the hall where she was speaking at a regional party conference of her Christian Democrats.

Several hundred people took part in a counter demonstration in the town, located on the Polish border, and police said they made several arrests.

German police figures also showed the number of extreme right-wing crimes rose significantly last year, climbing by around 20% in the first eight months of 2006 compared the previous year.