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Warsaw. Celebration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Warsaw once again commemorated the victims of the Holocaust. An ecumenical prayer was held at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. The organizers of the celebrations in the capital called for a lit candle to be placed in the window at 6 p.m. as an expression of solidarity with the millions of victims of the Holocaust and a sign of hope.

– January 27 is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Our moral duty is to remember all those who lost their lives as a result of the Holocaust. No more systemic hatred, no more stripping anyone of dignity and humanity – said the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski.

As part of the celebrations, at 1 p.m. there was a ceremony at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes and an ecumenical prayer for the murdered. Delegations with military assistance laid wreaths at the monument.

In her speeches, Deputy Speaker of the Sejm Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska paid tribute to all victims of this greatest crime in the history of mankind. – For us, Poles, the memory of the victims is of exceptional importance. The Holocaust destroyed the Jewish world that had been developing in our country for centuries. Three million Polish Jews were murdered, which is half of all Jews exterminated in the Shoah, she said. She emphasized that “we, Poles, have a special duty to bear witness to the world about our Jewish neighbors, friends, acquaintances, about their rich culture and heritage for our country.”


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Celebration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in WarsawTomasz Gzell / PAP

“We will be the best custodian of the memory of the victims of the Holocaust”

Deputy Minister of Culture Jarosław Sellin informed on the new commemoration of Jews who died or murdered in the streets of the Warsaw Ghetto and buried in one of the largest mass graves in Europe at the Jewish Cemetery at Okopowa Street. There was an openwork monument with stones suspended in the air. – We have very precisely discovered the border of the mass grave, the Jews buried there from the Warsaw ghetto, who were murdered in the ghetto or died of hunger there, there are tens of thousands of diseases there – he said. – The precise location of this place was unknown, it was not known how it was located in the cemetery. We know it today and this new commemoration can be seen from today. It is similar to the ones in Sobibór and Bełżec – he added.

In his opinion, “today’s act at the Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw and the state care for all places in Poland are proof that the Polish state wants to be and is the custodian of the memory of the greatest crime in human history, the crime of the Holocaust. He is the custodian of Polish remembrance. citizens, Polish Jews who were murdered. ” – We will not rest, we will remember the victims of the Holocaust and we will be the best custodian of the memory of the victims of the Holocaust – he added, declaring further initiatives commemorating the victims.

Deputy Minister of Culture Jarosław Sellin during the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in WarsawTomasz Gzell / PAP

Albert Stankowski, director of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, emphasized that “we meet in a troubled time in which the memory of the victims of the Holocaust is of special importance”. – The history we are recalling today makes us realize how valuable is peace and that it is not a value given to us once and for all. But we have to strive for it every day to prevent the repetition of the events of our not too distant past – he said.

The director of the Jewish Theater, Gołda Tencer, shared a personal story. – I am the daughter of Szmul Tencer, who had the number 188 266 tattooed in Auschwitz. My father’s entire family was killed. Only his brother and he survived. During the war, his first wife and daughter, Gołda, died, she said. – At your cradle, the golden goat is standing. She was selling raisins and almonds and lots of figs and raisins all day long, so that you would fall asleep my little son – she quoted a song that Jewish mothers sang to their children. – And then the Noah’s Ark was gone, to shelter it for the next life, to save it from the flood of human disgrace and destruction. Only from time to time a wardrobe, a hiding place, a dugout, children’s rooms for Jewish boys and girls of the war time appeared – she said. – The mouths of hundreds of thousands of Jewish children are silent forever, and some of the few who survived bear witness to the truth – she emphasized. – The international day of remembrance is the cry of Jewish children, mothers and fathers, the cry of the murdered Jewish people – she concluded her speech.

Director of the Jewish Theater Gołda Tencer during the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in WarsawTomasz Gzell / PAP

Light of Remembrance

The organizers of the Memorial Day celebrations appealed for placing a lit candle in the window at 6 p.m. It is an expression of solidarity with the millions of victims of the Holocaust and a sign of hope. As Gołda Tencer, the founder and founder of the foundation, says: “The light of memory brings life back, it is up to us today to ensure that this light does not go out”. – We appeal for lighting candles – only the solidary Flame of Remembrance allows us to keep hope that this terrible crime will never happen again – emphasized Aldona Machnowska-Góra.

The Light of Remembrance can also be lit on the Internet – just download a photo of the candle lit in the window from the FB profile of the Shalom Foundation and share it on your profile.

Celebration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in WarsawTomasz Gzell / PAP

The historic tram resembled the one running in the Warsaw Ghetto

As every year, a historic tram marked with the Star of David passed through the streets of Warsaw. The empty vehicle symbolizes the tram in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The tram will run along the following route: Narutowicza Square, Marszałkowska, Stawki, Popiełuszki, Marymont Metro, Okopowa, Zawiszy Square, Narutowicz Square.

Unfortunately, due to the epidemic threat, a special performance prepared by the Jewish Theater and a concert at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews was canceled.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 1, 2005. The date of the celebration is set for January 27 – the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in 1945. The celebrations are not only to commemorate those murdered during World War II by Nazi Germany, but also to show a clear opposition to the refusal to recognize the Holocaust as a historical event.

Historic tram marked with the Star of DavidMarcin Obara / PAP

Liberation of the Auschwitz camp

On January 27, 1945, Red Army soldiers opened the gates of the German Auschwitz camp. Extremely exhausted prisoners, of whom there were still some seven thousand – including half a thousand children – welcomed them as liberators.

The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940 to imprison Poles there. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was established two years later. It became the site of the extermination of Jews. There was also a network of sub-camps in the camp complex. In Auschwitz, the Germans killed at least 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, as well as Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and people of other nationalities.


The site of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

Main photo source: Tomasz Gzell / PAP

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