Lord Shinkwin, Conservative peer, explains why his bond with the surgeon who saved his life compelled him to take part
No one can properly understand why the Shoah [the Holocaust] took place. No one has the right to rationalise it . . . God only knows why it happened,” says Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, who was in Crakow, along with 250 young British people, for the annual March of the Living. This event, which attracted 11,500 people from all over the world, traces the steps of the death marches out of Auschwitz to the desolate wastes of Birkenau, three-and- a-half kilometres away.
Krakow, Poland — Over a time span of 70 years and a lifetime of pain, suffering and survival, British Jews marked the anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen on Holocaust Remembrance Day Thursday at a March of the Living event in Krakow. During the 1945 ceremony, some of the survivors broke into song — their voices frail and quavering — singing a familiar melody but with unrecognisable words.
"Arbeit macht frei" - "work makes you free" - is known around the world as the notorious sign over the gates of Auschwitz, where 1.1 million prisoners were murdered by the Nazis. But last Thursday a different message rang out, as 11,000 people marched through those gates, chanting "Am yisrael chai" - the nation of Israel lives.
At the airport, Ziggy Shipper, a scarcely believable 85, flirts with anyone within arm’s reach. In just a week in Poland, Ziggy, once a native of Lodz and now as proud a Briton as anyone – “I’ve been to four Royal Garden parties!” – has managed to win the hearts of all 250 British participants in this year’s March of the Living.