TWO religious leaders from different faiths will be marking Holocaust Memorial Day by giving up their time to one another’s places of worship.

Today sees Revd Ian Terry of St Peter’s Church give a talk at the Bournemouth Reform Synagogue and Rabbi Maurice Michaels gives his sermon at St Peter’s tomorrow.

A large part of Rabbi Michaels’s presentation will discuss the element of ‘fear’ reflecting, he says, how today’s political transitions including Brexit and the election of President Trump mirror the climate experienced by Germany in the 1930s - the years which led to one of the single largest incidents of genocide during the 20th century.

Rabbi Michaels said that one of the biggest impacts that Brexit would have was on the economy - a contributory factor to Germany’s antisemitism.

“Sterling has reduced in value by 20 per cent but the stock market is at its highest level ever,” he said. “Inevitably Brexit will be good for some and bad for others. That’s the sort of situation Germany faced in the 1930s.”

And fuelling antisemitism was Hitler’s 1925 novel Mein Kampf.

“His ideas were there for a long long time,” Rabbi Michaels said. “He cleverly brought them into the system. He came to power in 1933 and he was elected. He wasn’t a dictator who grabbed power. What a bombastic charismatic manner he had.”

It is all too familiar a scene going on in the USA, he added.

“It has copied what’s happened in 1933 in Germany. It’s brought in someone who says ‘I’ve got all the answers’. At least in the UK, however extreme we might be - and some people are extreme - there is a huge middle which does keep an eye on both ends of the spectrum and by and large keeps it under control.

“I’m missing that control in the States and in France too. There is a real possibility that Marine Le Pen will get into power.”

When asked how members of his Jewish community were reacting to all the radical changes going on in politics today, he responded: “It’s left a lot of them totally confused. They don’t want to be fearful of going back to the 1930s.”

The main crux of Rabbi Michaels’s sermon will the idea of miracles - both natural and supernatural - from the Hebrew Bible.

“Why couldn’t we expect a miracle during the savage horrors of the holocaust?” he asked. “Theology - I discover as I get older - is more about questions than answers. Congregants want answers but we can’t give them that. We can only point them in that direction - we’re not in a position to know.

“To have some level of certainty in a world where things are so uncertain must be wonderful but on the other hand we just can’t know for sure.”