March of the Living memorial begins in Auschwitz

Thousands of students from around the world march to Birkenau in commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

April 19, 2012 15:55
2 minute read.
March of the Living in Polish cemetery

March of the Living in Polish cemetery_370. (photo credit: Yossi Zeilger)


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The March of the Living, a memorial in which students march from Nazi death concentration camps Auschwitz to Birkenau, began in Poland Thursday afternoon to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.

This year's march, which includes some 11,000 students from 35 countries, Holocaust survivors and American veterans who helped liberate death camps, marks the 25th anniversary of the event.

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After touring the concentration camps, participants continue on to a second leg of the trip in Israel.

Police Commissioner, Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino joined the the March of the Living commemoration, saying "Today, we, the police officers of the Jewish state, are taking part in a journey to the heart of the darkest and most tragic episode in human civilization."

"I'm proud to be at the start of the march as the commissioner of the Israeli police. Police officers in the Jewish state defend security, the values of democracy, and the values of equality and justice with their bodies," he added.

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli commuters, workers, students and citizens of all stripes took two minutes from their lives to stand in silence on Holocaust Remembrance Day. At 10 a.m. a two-minute siren was sounded throughout the country to remember the six million Jews murdered at the hands of the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Various official state ceremonies commence immediately after the sirens.

The Knesset held a ceremony entitled "Every man has a name,"in which a number of politicians read out the names of Holocaust victims, many of whom were relatives.

Speaking on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday evening the prime minister said that while it is the world’s duty to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear arms, it is first and foremost Israel’s obligation.

Speaking at the state’s Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem, Netanyahu delivered a speech that dealt heavily with Iran. He said the obligation Israel must take from the Holocaust is not only to remember the past, “but to learn the lessons and more importantly to implement those lessons to ensure the future of our people.”

He noted that this was especially true in this generation, when there are those calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, and when Iran is working toward obtaining the means of achieving that goal.

Herb Keinon and Melanie Lidman contributed to this report

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