International Memorial Day Of Holocaust

International Memorial Day Of Holocaust was established by the UN General Assembly in 2005. The date was chosen to commemorate the liberation of the concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The main events took place in the National Museum in Auschwitz-Birkenau and in Warsaw, at the monument of the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes.

The ceremony in Auschwitz was dedicated to the memory of women and children who lost their lives in the concentration camps. From the speakers you could hear stories of people who were in the camp. There was a story about Jerzy Ulatowski, a Pole from Warsaw, who got to the camp after the Warsaw uprising. You could also listen about Halina Birenbaum, who didn't die in the gas chamber in Majdanek only because there was not enough gas in it. Then she was moved from Majdanek to Auschwitz. She survived.
An actor and former prisoner, August Kowalczyk was reading testimonies, quiet music accompanied his stories. People gathered in the camp were mostly young people, but also the survivors and diplomats. Comparing to previous years there was less of speeches which left more space and attention for the most important thing'stories of individuals, who went through the nightmare of Shoah.
The ceremony was attended by Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz (former prime minister of Poland) and Marek Jurek (the Speaker of the Sejm).

In Warsaw, people who gathered by the monument of the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes listened to a message from Irena Sendler, a polish women who saved during the war 2500 Jewish children. This year, the International Memorial Day Of Holocaust is dedicated to her memory.

The president of Poland, Lech Kaczyński also send a letter.

David Peleg, Ambassador of Israel in Poland underlined in his speech that during the International Memorial Day Of Holocaust we should also remember about all the Rother nations that died in Holocaust: Poles, Gypsies and many others.

You could listen to a prayer in Hebrew, beautifully sang by the Kantor and to memories of Elzbieta Ficowska. Mrs Ficowska was among the Jewsih children saved by Irena Sendler.'It is so important, when you think about those horrible days to remember people like Mrs. Irena. It is so important that she can now be honoured and that we can be here with her. She is a compass to many people. She teaches us that human being is of highest value and importance.
Many others, smaller but also important events took place.

At 4 p.m. in windows of many houses candles were lid to show the solidarity with victims of Shoah. It was also the Archbishop of Cracow, bishop Dziwisz who called for this important gesture.

On the streets of Warsaw there was an old tram, with the star of David on it, illuminated from the inside. It was commemorating a tram from the Warsaw ghetto, but it was also a memento-no one was neither getting on nor off.

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