27 January: It is difficult to be anywhere else on this day
King and Queen of the Netherlands, King of Spain, presidents of Germany, Israel, Poland and Switzerland and prime minister of Greece are the first confirmed heads of state delegations who will take part in the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz on January 27, 2020.
'We are expecting in total several dozen delegations as well as the representatives of international institutions. Many of them will be represented at the highest level, including some that we can already confirm officially. Talks with subsequent embassies are in progress; in some cases, we are waiting for official declarations, so we will be completing the list of confirmations on an ongoing basis,' said Bartosz Bartyzel, Spokesman of the Auschwitz Memorial.
Confirmed heads of state delegations:
The Netherlands - His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Spain - HM Philip VI of Spain
Sweden - HRH Crown Princess Victoria, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Speaker of the Parliament Andreas Norlén
Finnland – President Sauli Niinistö
Germany – President Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Israel – President Reuven Rivlin
Malta – President George William Vella
Poland – President Andrzej Duda
Switzerland - Presidency of the Swiss Confederation
Greece – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Estonia – Minister of Population Riina Solman
'This anniversary, this memory, this symbol of the liberation of Auschwitz, shows one of the essential foundations of the post-war life in Europe and the world. That is why I am not surprised that so many decision-makers understand perfectly well that it is difficult to be anywhere else on this particular day. It is clear that on the 75th anniversary, we all want to stand together with Auschwitz Survivors live among us,' said Piotr M. A. Cywiński, director of the Museum.
Auschwitz Survivors will be the most important guests of the event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. We expect that on January 27, 2020, about 200 of them will come to the Memorial from all over the world. A delegation of approximately 120 Auschwitz and Holocaust Survivors from the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, and several European countries will be able to take part in the main commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz thanks to the support of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation from New York City under the Leadership of Ronald S. Lauder. More and more former prisoners from Poland are now confirming their presence.
‘We have sent the invitations to all former prisoners with whom we remain in contact. But obviously, we will take care of everybody who expresses their willingness to participate. We have prepared accommodation and the entire logistics of such an undertaking. Each of the witnesses of history will be accompanied by one person. If there is somebody who wishes to participate, please contact the organization team,' Bartyzel added.
On January 27, the witnesses of history are going to sit in the tent installed over the historical gate of former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. Official delegations from several dozen countries from all over the world are going to listen to their words, together with the representatives of international institutions, social organizations, clergymen, the staff of museums and memorial sites devoted to this topic. It will be possible to watch the event live all over the world thanks to TV and online broadcast.
The year 2020 will be special due to two anniversaries related to the memory: The 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Stockholm Declaration, under which the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research was established, today the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; and the 15th anniversary of the adoption of 27 January as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day by the United Nations General Assembly. Both events symbolically took place on 27 January, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Consequently, the major international commemoration event will be organized at the Auschwitz Memorial.
The President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, has assumed honorary patronage over the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz. Further information on this event will be published on the website: 75.auschwitz.org.