Category: Media & Culture / April 8, 2013 1:46 PM EDT
Several thousand people including Holocaust survivors and Israeli youths walked from the site of the World War II era Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz to the Birkenau camp on Monday (April 8) to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.
It was the 22nd march to pay homage to the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust and also honor those who participated in the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto 70 years ago.
The March of the Living began at the main gate of the Auschwitz death camp with the playing of a ram's horn. It ended in Birkenau, a second part of the Nazi death camp built later.
Marchers from around the world participated in the commemorations at the site of one of the most notorious Nazi German death camps. Marchers chanted songs and waved Israeli flags.
"This is our history," said Yaki Saada from Israel. "We have no future without the past. And if you want to know what your future, you have to come here."
Students Lisa and Pauline from Germany said that it was important for young Germans not to forget their country's history.
"It's our part not to forget our history. So it's important to get to know everything here and to visit the ... Auschwitz," said Lisa.
"I mean, the German people did this and it's not so... I think we should show that we are not the same, like the Germans from years before," said Pauline.
As many as 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, perished in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, either in the gas chambers or from freezing temperatures, starvation, sickness, medical tests and forced labor.
Other victims include Polish political prisoners, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals, people with disabilities, and prisoners of religious faith.
Poland was home to Europe's largest Jewish community of some 3.2 million people before World War Two, but most of them died under the Nazi German occupation.
The camp was liberated by Soviet soldiers on January 27, 1945.
Video Source: Reuters