Organizers of the March of the Living on Sunday said the annual Holocaust commemoration in Poland has been postponed from its April date due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“After consulting with the relevant health bodies and officials, it is with a heavy heart that we are forced to announce the postponement of this year’s March of the Living in Poland,” said March of the Living World Chair, Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, in a statement.
“Our primary concern is the health of the many participants and the Holocaust survivors who would be joining them. Given that this is an international event involving 110 delegations from around the world, we have a responsibility to take precautionary measures in accordance with the guidelines given by authorities in various countries,” he added.
A rescheduled date for the annual commemoration, which was originally set for April 21 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, has yet to be announced.
The delay marks the first time since the March of the Living’s founding in 1988 that the annual event has been disrupted, the organization said.
Each year the March of the Living aims to walk the 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) between the two parts of the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
The March of the Living brings together thousands of participants, many from Jewish schools and youth movements, from more than 40 countries to Auschwitz on Israel’s day of commemoration for Holocaust victims.