In his speech Peres, who lit a torch in honor of the Holocaust victims, said "Millions of Jews lived here for a thousand years," said Peres in his speech after lighting a torch in memory of Holocaust victims. "And though their lives were not always secure, they sustained us as a people. It is very hard for me to stand here, but that is not the fault of the Polish people, rather it is the incomparable extermination (of the Jews) carried out by the Nazis.
"When I come to places such as this it almost irritates me to see the shining sun and the green trees, but the Nazis are to blame," the Israeli president said.
Referring to the Israeli soldiers and students who were also in attendance, Peres said "I am very moved by their presence here. I think to myself - if they had lived back then – this would not have happened to us.
"We will never again allow people with murderous compulsions, uncontrollable animals – to do this again," he said.
Kaczyński: What more can we say?
Polish President Kaczyński also addressed the audience: "We are standing in a place where 800-900,000 Jewish citizens of Poland were exterminated; and why? Only because they were Jews. This was the only reason behind their deaths and it was a sentence delivered regardless of age, sex or anything else.
"The 3,000 Jews of the ghetto in Warsaw, one of the largest Jewish cities in the world, were murdered here. What more can we say in the face of such a crime except 'never again'. Never again will there be persecutions over nationality, religion or race.
"We remember the dreadful crime that took place here, and those who saved Jews, but let us also think of the future – we wish to make every effort so that our relations with Israel will continually improve; this is our duty," Kaczyński.
Later this evening Peres is scheduled to visit the only synagogue still standing in the Polish capital. He is expected to meet with senior state officials throughout the coming week.