March of the Living marks Holocaust Remembrance Day at Auschwitz
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March of the Living marks Holocaust Remembrance Day at Auschwitz

10,000 people, including Israeli officials, making three-kilometer walk between Nazi death camps in Poland in annual ceremony

Raoul Wootliff covers politics, corruption and crime for The Times of Israel.

The railway track leading to the infamous ‘Death Gate’ at the Auschwitz II Birkenau extermination camp on November 13, 2014, in Oswiecim, Poland. (JTA/Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The railway track leading to the infamous ‘Death Gate’ at the Auschwitz II Birkenau extermination camp on November 13, 2014, in Oswiecim, Poland. (JTA/Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Thousands of Jews from Israel and around the world were walking Thursday between the two parts of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp in Poland in memory of Holocaust victims.

The annual “March of the Living” transitionally begins with the shofar, a ram’s horn used for Jewish religious ceremonies, being sounded at the former camp’s notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) gate.

This year the marchers are being accompanied by eight Knesset members from across the political spectrum, including Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked who will address the participants at the central ceremony.

During World War II, the Nazis killed some 1.1 million people at the camp, mostly Jews, but also Russians, Roma, Poles and members of other nationalities.

The march began in 1988 as a biennial event, but was soon staged yearly.

So far, over 200,000 Jewish youths have taken part in the march, according to the International March of the Living organizers, who intend it to be an element of education for new generations.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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