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March 16 – 66th Anniversary Of Krakow Ghetto Liquidation

     A few-hundred Kracovians and guests from abroad, including Israel, participated in the annual March of Remembrance. Ghetto survivors, representatives of local authorities, diplomats (including Ann Hall, U.S. Consul General in Krakow and David Peleg, Israeli Ambassador in Poland) and many “ordinary people” came to commemorate those who were killed in the ghetto during WW II. We walked from the former Umschlagplatz in Podgorze to the site of former KL Plaszow.

 

 



Israeli Ambassador, David Peleg, at the remnants of the ghetto walls.


 

 

    The March of Remembrance was inaugurated in early 80s by a group of people who later founded the Jewish Culture Festival Society. It was a very small, semi-private way of commemorating forgotten victims of the Krakow Ghetto. Throughout the years the march kept growing and became Krakow’s central event commemorating the Holocaust.

 

 



Rabbi Edgar Gluck recites Kaddish at the monument for murdered Jews.


 

 

   Among those who participated in the march this year were Jew and non-Jews, survivors and their neighbors, people of different professions, ages and backgrounds. In recent years, there are more and more visitors from Israel coming especially to the March of Remembrance. In many cases this is the first time they have returned to their former homeland since the Shoah. Quite a few came with members of their families and friends.

 

 



Representatives of local authorities and Rabbi Edgar Gluck


 

 

   For those who have been involved in the organization of the march from the very beginning, there is one very important element. Although it has become an official event, the march has not lost its spontaneous character and is first of all a manifestation of feelings of each individual attending the March of Remembrance.

 

 


The monument at the Plaszow concentration camp in Krakow

 

 


  Correction – Last week the caption on two of the pictures in this column were inadvertently switched, Rabbi Michael Schudrich was seen reading the Megillahin Warsaw and Rabbi Gluck was seen with a member of his congregation in Krakow after reading the Megillah.

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The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

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