Royals Gather in Poland for Auschwitz Anniversary
Members of several European Royal Families today attended a commemoration service in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp by Soviet forces.
The Kings and Queens of Belgium and the Netherlands, the Crown Princes of Denmark and Norway, the Crown Princess of Sweden and the Hereditary Grand Ducal Couple of Luxembourg were all present at the service, which took place in front of the Death Gate of KL Auschwitz II-Birkenau, in a specially-erected tent.
Also attending the commemoration were around 300 survivors of the camp, many who were children and teens at the time and are now in their eighties, nineties and older. This only heightened the importance of this year’s anniversary, as it is expected that the next major milestone will see a heavily reduced amount of survivors alive to attend.
During the service, survivors spoke of the horrors of the camps, and also urged the world to learn from the past and not allow such a terrible scenario to reoccur. “We survivors do not want our past to be our children’s future,” survivor Roman Kent said to the gathering. There were also Jewish and Christian prayers recited, ending with El Male Rachamim, the Jewish prayer for the souls of the dead.
Upon the conclusion of the commemoration, the attendees all placed lit candles along the camp’s Death Wall, where prisoners were executed by members of the SS, and at memorial plaques.
January 27 marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and was commemorated world-wide with a number of public services and memorials.Filed under Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands
Tagged Anniversary, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg, Holocaust, King Philippe of the Belgians, King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, Poland, Queen Mathilde of the Belgians, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, World War II.