Holocaust Remembrance Day
ReutersTuesday, April 25, 2006; 10:14 AM
OSWIECIM, Poland (Reuters) - Thousands of young Jews, Poles and Holocaust survivors on Tuesday marched at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz to mourn the victims of Adolf Hitler's plan to exterminate Jews during World War Two.
Led by former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres, some 8,000 people took part in the annual March of the Living between Auschwitz and its twin camp Birkenau, some three kilometers (two miles) away.
"As long as I am alive, I will come here each year. It is my duty," said Stefan Buchler, 74, an Auschwitz survivor who now lives in Israel.
Marchers begun their trek under Auschwitz's notorious gate with the inscription "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work sets you free).
"I am shocked. This should be a warning for everyone to reject intolerance, which can very easily lead to fascism," said Marion Pitzer, a teenager from Israel.
This year's march, under the banner "Never again," comes just a month before German-born Pope Benedict visits Auschwitz as part of his first visit to Poland as Pontiff.
"Here under these walls my family was murdered," said Krzysztof Kisielewski, a Pole whose father and aunt were killed in Auschwitz. "When I think that the German Pope will pray here in a few weeks, I believe that history has turned full circle."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Yad Vashem - The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority
Simon Weisenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance
Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation
Official Anne Frank Website