Thousands in March of the Living at Auschwitz
PR dla Zagranicy
Some 8,000 people, young Jews from many countries and their Polish peers, participate in Thursday's March of the Living at the site of the former Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz.
Thousands are set to take part in the March of the Living at Auschwitz. Photo: motl.org
Its three kilometre-long route leads from the “Arbeit macht frei” gate to Auschwitz to the crematoria of Birkenau.
Before the start of the march, its participants toured the site, including an exhibition on the extermination of Jews, the Block of Death and the Executions Wall, at which the Germans executed many thousands of camp prisoners, mostly Poles.
Launched in 1988 as an educational project coinciding with the Holocaust Memorial Day, which this year is observed on 5 May, the March of the Living is being held for the 25th time.
It coincides with the 80th anniversary of the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws introduced by the Reichstag and the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals.
In 2005, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the event attracted 20,000 people and official delegations from almost 50 countries.
Over 150,000 people have taken part in the march so far. A large group of high-ranking politicians who participated in the event in recent years includes Polish, Israeli and Hungarian presidents and prime ministers.
The Auschwitz camp was founded in 1940. Its first victim was a Polish Jew, Dawid Wongczewski, who died there on 6 July of that year.
Over 1.1 million people perished at the camp, mostly European Jews, but also Poles, Roma, Soviet POWs and other nationalities. (mk/rg)