Remembrance March commences on 76th anniversary of Kraków Ghetto liquidation

The Remembrance March to mark the 76th anniversary of the liquidation of Kraków Ghetto by Nazi Germans took place on Sunday in Kraków.

The four-kilometre route of the march led from the Ghetto Heroes’ Square to the area of the former Płaszów concentration camp, the same path the Nazi Germans transported the Jewish inhabitants of Kraków during WWII

Before the march started, several speeches were delivered by officials and the living survivors of those tragic events.

Anna Azari, the Israeli ambassador to Poland stressed that discourse about the Holocaust is needed “to build a completely new society, in which such things will not be possible anymore.”

“I believe that this march (...) is a small step towards this major fight against hatred. Thank you all, who came here to make this step,” she said.

‘There were no Polish camps’

Bronisława Horowitz-Karakulska, who was saved by Oskar Schindler, recalled that she was probably the only person alive from the so-called Schindler’s List.

“I survived, because I was surrounded by wonderful and generous people. I have never experienced any acts of anti-semitism towards me in Kraków,” she said to the gathered people.

Another Holocaust survivor, Edward Mosberg, delivered an emotional speech in which he stressed that it was the German nation who should be blamed for Holocaust.

“All these camps were German death camps, there were no Polish death camps,” he said, adding that thanks to the amendment to the defamation law, the whole world realised whose those camps were.

“Poland had three enemies: the Germans, Russians, and the collaborators. There were also Jews who helped the Germans, and we cannot forget that fact. The Kraków Jewish police had 130 members and they were the ones who were catching Jews without the permission to stay in the ghetto,” he said.

Before WWII, the Jewish community constituted one quarter of the inhabitants of Kraków. In March 1941, the Nazi Germans established a ghetto in the city, where almost 17,000 Jewish citizens of Krakow lived. The liquidation of the ghetto began on March 13-14, 1943. Around 8,000 ghetto inhabitants were displaced to the concentration camp in Płaszów, while approx. 2,000 were murdered at the Umschlagplatz - today's Ghetto Heroes Square. Others were displaced to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Only a small fraction of them survived.

Among the people saved from the Kraków Ghetto were Roman Polański, Ryszard Horowitz with his sister, Roma Ligocka, Stella Mueller and Miriam Akavia.