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.