On Wednesday, the president met with representatives of the Jewish community in Poland at a New Year’s meeting. He said that he was surprised to receive an invitation to Jerusalem for commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz camp liberation and the World Holocaust Remembrance Day as the ceremonies will also be held in Auschwitz itself.
The Polish Jews Forum has said that the speakers in Jerusalem will include countries that are responsible for the Holocaust, while the country that...see more
"It is in Poland, today our land, but back then occupied by Nazi Germany, where the ashes of victims are scattered," said President Andrzej Duda.
The President emphasised that he hopes that the ceremony prepared in Poland, at the former Auschwitz camp, will be the main event of World Holocaust Remembrance Day.
"I will not hide that, as the President of the Republic of Poland, I hoped that the 75th anniversary would be a great event that would gather everyone at this extremely symbolic memorial in this symbolic place, in these symbolic moments," said the President.
The president referred to the uniqueness of the January celebrations at Auschwitz. "As you know, it is very cold there at that time. It has an incredible dimension. It makes one really understand the horror of this place," said the president.
"It makes you think that those people lived there for years, without heating, that they were dressed only in thin camp striped uniforms, that they often walked barefoot in the snow," he added.
"This was the fate of the great European Jewish community, and this was the fate of three million Polish Jewish citizens who were murdered during the Holocaust, of which hundreds of thousands were killed in Auschwitz," concluded President Duda.
Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest Nazi German concentration and death camp, it was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on January 27, 1945. About 1.1 mln prisoners lost their lives on the site.