A ceremony commemorating the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto was held in the city for the first time.
Sunday’s ceremony marked the 70th anniversary of the day that the Germans began mass deportations of Jews to Treblinka, on July 22, 1942. More than 250,000 people were deported to the Nazi death camp.
Israeli Deputy Minister of Education, Menachem Eliezer Mozes, came to Warsaw for the ceremony.
A prayer for the victims of the terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria was held earlier Sunday in the city’s Nozyk synagogue. Later, a march of remembrance passed through the streets of Warsaw. Several hundred people from Poland and Israel walked on the road opposite to the one that Janusz Korczak went with the children from his orphanage, instead of saving himself from certain death. From Umschlagplatz, the site of the deportation, the marchers continued to the site of Korczak’s orphanage.
Mozes quoted excerpts from the diary of Hillel Seidman, who wrote about the underground yeshivot and Orthodox Jews’ involvement in armed resistance in the Warsaw ghetto.
“Children are the greatest victims of the Holocaust. Only 500 children survived in Warsaw after the ‘Great Action,’ “said Prof. Pawel Spiewak of the Jewish Historical Institute.
At the end of the march, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, the Chief Rabbi of Poland, said: “We are not the same people we were an hour ago. We have this march of remembrance, march for life, and we must remember not the perpetrators but the victims.”
Also on Sunday, an exhibition of drawings from the Warsaw ghetto opened in Kordegarda Gallery. In the evening a concert of Jewish music was held next to the old walls of the ghetto.