Thousands attend March of the Living in Poland to honour Holocaust victims

Some 10,000 young Jews and hundreds of Poles attended the March of the Living at the site of the former Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in southern Poland on Tuesday, together with a group of Holocaust survivors and a host of dignitaries from various countries.


Photo:PAP/Zbigniew Meissner

Continuing the tradition from previous years, the marchers walked the three-kilometre route from Auschwitz’s infamous “Arbeit macht frei” (Work Sets You Free) gate to the crematoria of the nearby Birkenau site to pay tribute to Jews and others who were murdered by the Nazi Germans during World War II.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who is on a three-day visit to Poland, also took part in the event, which aimed to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.

In a speech at the ceremony, Mattarella paid tribute to the victims of Nazi Germany and also spoke about Russia’s almost 14-month-old invasion of Ukraine and the suffering of the Ukrainian people, Poland’s PAP news agency PAP reported.

„In the face of Russia’s ongoing inhuman aggression in Ukraine, the memory of the Holocaust continues to be a timeless warning that we must not ignore,” he told the gathering, as quoted by the Polish state news agency.

Entrance to the former Auschwitz death camp with the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free) sign. Entrance to the former Auschwitz death camp with the infamous „Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Sets You Free) sign. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

Photo:Photo: PAP/Zbigniew Meissner

The March of the Living is an annual Holocaust education project, first held in 1988, that sees thousands of Jewish students from all over the world flock to southern Poland „to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hatred,” according to organisers.

This year’s event coincided with the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp operated in German-occupied southern Poland between May 1940 and January 1945. It was the largest of the German Nazi concentration and death camps during World War II.

More than 1.1 million people, mostly European Jews, as well as Poles, Roma, Soviet POWs and people of many other nationalities, perished there before the camp was liberated on January 27, 1945.


Source: IAR, PAP/

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