70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz: January 27, 2015
The 70th Anniversary of the
Liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp
takes place on
January 27, 2015
(International Holocaust Remembrance Day)
The main commemoration of the 70th anniversary will take place in front of the Death Gate of KL Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
Official Website for the Anniversary
Confirmed Royal Attendance:
T.M. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium
-- Prince Minister Charles Michel
H.R.H. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
T.R.H. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg
-- Prime Minister Xavier Bettel
T.M. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of The Netherlands
-- Prime Minister Mark Rutte
H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
-- Prime Minister Erna Solberg
H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
This is going to be very moving. Even that image of the front of Auschwitz makes me cry.
Proud that my King and Queen will be there to honour and remember
I hope to see as many Royals and heads-of-state as possible turn out for this very important event marking a somber triumph in WWII.
Me too. With Auschwitz, it's hard to see any good or triumph, but I guess there was. Hope POTUS attends and HM and POW, and DOC. ( DOC= Duke of Cambridge.)
By triumph, I meant the Allied liberation of such a grim hellhole of death. It was too late for many, but right in time for many others.
In that sense then, yes.
The Russians liberated Auschwitz. It was the grim hellhole of death. Birkenau, which was the camp attached was the, actual, death camp. Where the gas chambers and ovens abounded.
As of today, according to this news note Auschwitz-Birkenau - Hear the Voice of Survivors. 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. confirmed Royals to attend the event are:
• Belgium – King Philippe I, Queen Mathilde
• Denmark – Crown Prince Frederik
• Luxembourg – Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa
• The Netherlands – King Willem–Alexander, Queen Máxima
• Norway – Crown Prince Haakon
• Sweden – Crown Princess Victoria
The UK is sending Mr Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, but I think and hope they (the FCO) will change their mind and request a Royal delegation.
Liechtenstein and Monaco will be represented by their Foreign Ministers. Spain is not yet on the list of confirmed participants.
A news also broke out just hours ago that President Putin of Russia will not be attending the anniversary in Poland. According to the Kremlin officials, he was not invited by the Poles so he will not participate.
I'm pretty sure that the Polish government blocked the invitation, don't believe that it was the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum officials who don't want Putin there. It's clrealy part of the whole wide new-Cold War trend in Western politics to alienate the Russian officials because of their aggression in Ukraine.
It is better not to invite than to have an awkward meeting with granite-faced officials. Unlike Asians, Europeans are clumsy and lack finesse of meeting their adversaries.
It is surprising though that some lowly Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will represent the UK.
Putin's abscence will lower the rank of the event.
You are right, kbk, the Russians fought hard in WWII and did liberate the camp. Other things that might be distasteful are not important at this event.
Oh please not another overseas event that the BRF won't turn up to. Maybe the comments about Obama not being in France on Sunday will make them see sense.
Not quite the same. The President to travel on such short notice is almost impossible for security reasons. But we should have sent a higher ranking official than our Ambassador, but we acknowledged that. The BRF do not face the security risks our president does and they have a plethora of people who do nothing to send.
I meant that the criticism / comment about Obama not being there and America being 'under-represented' may hopefully strike a chord with the BRF that t is noticed when a country isn't represented well enough.
I'm not saying Obama was right/wrong or why he could't go, nevertheless there's been talk in the meda about it.
I really hope the BRF sends someone to represent the UK
A change for the Luxembourgian attendance, according to the website of the Grand Ducal House, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie will attend.
70è commémoration de la libération du camp de concentration et d’extermination d’Auschwitz-Birkenau - Cour Grand-Ducale de Luxembourg - Janvier 2015
The list of confirmed participants as of 25 January:
• Armenia – Ashot Hovakimyan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
• Argentina – Patricia Beatriz Salas, Ambassador
• Australia – Josh Frydenberg, Assistant Treasurer
• Austria – President Heinz Fischer
• Azerbaijan – Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs
• Belgium – King Philippe I, Queen Mathilde, Prime Minister Charles Michel
• Belarus – Aleksandr Averyanov, Ambassador
• Bosnia and Herzegovina – Duško Kovačević, Ambassador
• Bulgaria – President Rosen Plevneliev
• Canada - Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism)
• Croatia - President Ivo Josipović
• Cyprus – Andreas Zenonos, Ambassador
• Czech Republic – Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka
• Denmark – Crown Prince Frederik
• Estonia - Harri Tiido, Ambassador
• Finland – Speaker of the Parliament Eero Heinäluoma
• France – President François Hollande
• Georgia – Zviad Dzidziguri, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament
• Germany – President Joachim Gauck
• Greece – Tasia Athanasiou, ambasador
• Hungary – Zoltán Balog, State Secretary for Social Inclusion in the Ministry of Administration and Justice.
• Ireland – Charles Flanagan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
• Israel – Silvan Shalom, Minister for the Regional Development
• Italy – President of the Senate Pietro Grasso
• Latvia – The Speaker of the Saeima Ināra Mūrniece
• Liechtenstein – Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Culture
• Lithuania – Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs
• Luxembourg – Hereditary Grand-Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel
• Macedonia - President Ǵorge Iwanow
• Malta – President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca
• Monaco – José Badia, The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
• New Zealand - Finlyson Chris, Minister of Culture
• The Netherlands – King Willem–Alexander, Queen Máxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte
• Norway – Crown Prince Haakon, Prime Minister Erna Solberg
• Poland – President Bronisław Komorowski
• Portugal – Bruno Maçães, State Secretary for European Affairs
• Romania - Ioan Vulpescu, Minister of Culture
• Russia – Sergey Ivanov, Chief of the Presidential Administration of Russia
• Serbia – Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy
• Slovakia – President Andrej Kiska
• Slovenia – President Borut Pahor
• Spain - Jesús Posada Moreno, President of the Congress of Deputies
• Sweden – Crown Princess Victoria
• Switzerland – President Simonetta Sommaruga
• Turkey - Mevlut Çavusoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs
• The United Kingdom – Philip Hammond, Minister of Foreign Affairs
• Ukraine – President Petro Poroshenko
• The United States - Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of the Treasury
• Vatican – cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz
The UK will be represented by Philip Hammond, the foreign minister, who is of a higher profile than Mr Pickles. Still not enough IMO.
Spain is an another major monarchy sending a high-ranked politician rathern than a member of the RF, and will be represented by its President of the Congress of Deputies (the lower house of Parliament), who is the second non-royal in Spanish order of precedence.
To sum up, there will be 15 heads of state attending, including 2 kings and one Acting President (Pietro Grasso of Italy).
Here is the full schedule of commemoration events. At 5 pm CET the participants, including the officials listed above, will lay down candles to pay tribute to the victims. It will be televised live on Polish TV, but I've no idea if it will be available online or in any other foreign TV channel, most probably on stations like CNN or BBC World.
Given the list of attendees, President Putin's absence is understandable. Most of EU representatives are just cabinet members and government ministers. I am surprised that the UK had a fit of generosity and dispatched Foreign Minister to the ceremony.
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