A few dozen Holocaust survivors on Tuesday led a march in southern Poland to commemorate victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau, on the eve of the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Every year, thousands of people from around the world — both Jewish and not — take part in the event held at the site of the former death camp built by Nazi Germany after it invaded Poland.
One million European Jews died at the camp in the city of Oswiecim between 1940 and 1945 along with around 80,000 non-Jewish Poles, 25,000 Roma and 20,000 Soviet soldiers.
The camp was liberated by the Red Army in January 1945.
The 35th edition of the March of the Living began with the doleful sound of the shofar — a traditional Jewish ram’s horn symbolising freedom — at the notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Will Set You Free) gate at Auschwitz.
The three-kilometre march was notably attended this year by Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Israeli Education Minister Yoav Kisch.
On Wednesday, Warsaw will commemorate the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which broke out 80 years ago on April 19, 1943.
The presidents of Israel and Germany will be in attendance and are expected to visit the site of the former Jewish district.
The Germans confined up to 450,000 Jews to an area of just over three square kilometres — most of whom died of starvation or disease inside or were taken to a death camp to the east of Warsaw.