9th March of the Living. 5,000 participants, including Polish and Israeli presidents
Some 5 000 Jewish youth, elderly Holocaust survivors, and a few hundred Poles took part in the annual, 9 March of the Living. Together with president of Israel Ezer Weizman and Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski they went along the path from the former Auschwitz camp to the ruins of the gas chambers in Birkenau.
"The Holocaust was possible because of the indifference of those who stood idly watching. We shall not forget those who took pleasure in the suffering of others, the collaborators and informers, "Weizman said. "I again want to honor those courageous sons of the Polish nation... who felt the pain of the persecuted, who risked their lives and the lives of their loved ones to come forward with a glass of water and a slice of bread," he added.
"I share your pain and reflection," Kwasniewski told the marchers. "We are here to make sure that nobody, neither people nor nations, are ever threatened with annihilation." He also called on young Jews to put aside historical prejudice and "see Poles as friends." The march, first organized by the Israeli Education Ministry in 1988, is held annually on Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day.