Auschwitz ceremony marks 68 years since liberation
A ceremony marking the 68th year since the liberation of Auschwitz was held at the site of the former Nazi camp.
The ceremony held Sunday, on International Holocaust Memorial Day, at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was attended by ex-prisoners and liberators of Auschwitz. The honorary patron of the ceremony was Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.
Russian former prisoner Ksenia Olchowa spoke on behalf of former prisoners and appealed to the attendees to remember the past and to do everything to make sure this horrible experience never happens again.
"When our soldiers saw the first group of prisoners they were afraid to even approach them. They didn't look like people," Iwan Martynuszkin, who took part in the liberation of Auschwitz, recalled during the ceremony.
"Today we also remember the brave people – the Righteous Among the Nations - who risked their lives to rescue Jews. Poles are the largest group of Righteous in Europe," said Israeli Ambassador to Poland Zvi Rav-Ner.
The second part of the ceremony took place at the Monument to the Victims of the Camp at the Auschwitz II-Birkenau site. Rabbis and Christian clergy together read Psalm 42 from the Book of Psalms and put candles at the monument commemorating the victims of Auschwitz.