Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau visited the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum
On 10 July 2016, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau visited the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum. He was accompanied among others by Nate Leipciger, a former prisoner of Auschwitz born in 1928 in Chorzów, who emigrated to Canada in 1948 and repeatedly visited the Memorial during the Marches of the Living, the Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion and Rabbi Adam Scheier from Montreal, Vice-President of the Council of Rabbis. The guests were welcomed by the Director of the Museum dr Piotr M.A. Cywiński, who also told them about the history of the camp, and the contemporary challenges of the Memorial.
Prime Minister Trudeau laid a wreath and held a minute's silence in front of the Wall of Death in the courtyard of Block 11, where executions by shooting were held as a tribute to all victims of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.
The guests visited the vast portion of the Museum’s exposition. They saw among others Block 4 dedicated to the extermination of Jews, and which contains German photographs documenting the arrival of the transport of Jews from Hungary, a model of gas chamber and crematorium II from Birkenau, Zyklon B canisters, as well as human hair taken from the murdered. There is also a room dedicated to the story of storage rooms for looted property which in the jargon of the camp were called the "Canada". In Block 5, they saw personal objects of victims that were found in these storage rooms after the liberation of the camp. Among others shoes, suitcases, glasses, brushes, or kitchen utensils. The delegation also visited the building of the first gas chamber and crematorium in Auschwitz I.
In the second part of the visit, Prime Minister Trudeau visited the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. He walked along the rail ramp where the Germans conducted selection of the Jews, and also saw the ruins of the gas chamber and crematorium III, where the Jewish prayer for the dead - Kaddish was said. Candles were lit at the monument commemorating all victims of the camp. The Prime Minister also made an entry into the guest’s book of the Museum.
'Today we bear witness to humanity's capacity for deliberate cruelty and evil. May we ever remember this painful truth about ourselves and may it strenghten our commitment to never again allow such darkness to prevail,' wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Tolerance is never sufficient: humanity must learn to love our differences,' - we read.
Canada is one of the 36 countries that has supported the Perpetual Capital of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. Profits from the Fund is used to finance the preservation of authentic remains of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz.