Krakow ghetto liquidation anniversary marked

A Remembrance March in Krakow (southern Poland) on Sunday commemorated the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto.

Addressing the gathering, Presidential Minister Wojciech Kolarski stressed he was honoured to pay homage, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Poland, to those who were either killed in the ghetto, sent to the Nazi German concentration camp KL Plaszow or died on the way to the camp.

"My presence here is also a sign of building a Republic of Poland in which there is no room for anti-Semitism or hatred," Kolarski stressed.

The presidential minister also noted the date of March 12, 1943, when the Krakow Committee for Aid to Jews was created as part of the Council for Aid to Jews (Zegota).

"Those people who then tried to save their Jewish fellow citizens are our national heroes," Kolarski pointed out. "I am here today to show that a free and sovereign Republic of Poland draws on this attitude," Kolarski declared.

Flowers were laid at a plaque honouring murdered Jews on a square which served Germans as a selection site for the ghetto inhabitants.

The march started at a Pharmacy under the Eagle owned by Tadeusz Pankiewicz, a Polish citizen living in the ghetto, delivering medicines and food to fellow citizens of Jewish descent from the ghetto, and helping them escape.
The Krakow ghetto was one of the five major ghettos created by Nazi Germans in the General Government territory in the occupied Poland. In March 1941, its population stood at around 17,000. In 1942, some 11,000 were sent to the Belzec death camp. The final liquidation of the ghetto started on March 13 and 14, when Nazi Germans executed some 2,000 people of Jewish descent. Others were sent to Nazi German death camps in Plaszow and Auschwitz.