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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

World Jewish Congress chief to address Auschwitz commemoration in Poland

24.01.2020 14:30
Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), is scheduled to address the main event marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz in southern Poland on Monday, January 27.
A photo made available by the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum shows the unloading ramp and the Gate of Death at the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp in southern Poland in the winter of 1945.
A photo made available by the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum shows the unloading ramp and the "'Gate of Death" at the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp in southern Poland in the winter of 1945. Photo: EPA/STANISLAW MUCHA/www.auschwitz.org

Lauder, who chairs the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation, had earlier refused to attend the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem on January 23.

More than 100 Auschwitz survivors and their families from the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia and several European countries are expected to participate in the event in Poland.

In a statement on the WJC website, Lauder said: “I am honored to have the opportunity to stand alongside many of the last remaining survivors for this solemn occasion, as together we mark 75 years since the liberation of this terrible place.”

He added: “The memorial site remains forever a brutal reminder of the horrors unleashed through anti-Semitism … We will honor the memory of the 6 million Jews the Nazis killed simply because they were Jewish, including almost 1 million Jews murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

"Through preserving Holocaust memory and recognizing the urgency of Holocaust education, we can ensure that future generations truly understand the complete and utter hatred of the Nazi attempt to annihilate European Jewry and ensure it never, ever happens again.”

Delegations from over 50 countries and international organisations are expected to attend Monday’s event at Auschwitz.

(mk/gs)