Over 50 members of the German delegation are descendants of members of Wehrmacht, police, or SS, who were directly involved in the annihilation of Europe'sJews. They will join together with the survivors in a 'reconciliation march' that will make stops at Poland's extermination camps.
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The 420 participants met Monday at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, the starting point of the march which will go through Treblinka, Kielce, Warsaw, Sobibor, Chelmno, Majdanek and Belzec. A memorial ceremony will be held at each of the sites.
At Monday's ceremony (Photo courtesy of Yad Ezra Coalition)
The idea to hold the event was raised last year during a convention in honor of the aid offered by evangelical Christian groups to Holocaust victims. Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, MK Lia Shemtov (Yisrael Beiteinu) who was behind the Knesset convention will be representing Israel in the march.
The main ceremony will take place in Warsaw on Thursday. MK Shemtov said she was very excited to be the keynote speaker at the event. "These are incredible teenagers who discovered their tragic connection with the Jewish people and decided to follow this truth while seeking forgiveness and absolution from the Holocaust survivors," she noted.
In her speech Shemtov will state that "they say that children should not bear their parents sins as a mark of Cain.
"Sadly, the memory of the acts of the Holocaust haunts you even now when you, the next generation are exposed to the rising anti-Semitism in Europe, radical Islam's burning hatred and you, young men and women, who are the same age as 1.5 million children who were slaughtered in the Holocaust say 'no more!'"
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