World Jewish Congress president to speak at Auschwitz ceremony


The president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), Ronald Lauder, is to deliver a speech at ceremonies marking the 75th liberation anniversary of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, to be held at the camp's former site in southern Poland.

The WJC president had earlier declined an invitation to attend the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem.

At his speech on the grounds of the former German concentration camp, Lauder will stress the necessity of education about the Holocaust and the need to maintain structures and facilities reminding about it.

"On January 27, we will honor the memory of the 6 million Jews the Nazis killed simply because they were Jewish, including almost 1 million Jews murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau," Lauder is quoted on the WJC website as saying. "Through preserving Holocaust memory and recognizing the urgency of Holocaust education, we can ensure that future generations truly understand the complete and utter hatred of the Nazi attempt to annihilate European Jewry and ensure it never, ever happens again."

A foundation Lauder heads, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation, is organising a visit to the ceremonies in Poland for more than 100 people rescued from the Holocaust along with their family members.

According to an itinerary published on the WJC website, on Sunday evening Lauder will ceremonially greet Holocaust survivors. On Monday, alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda, he will be one of the speakers during ceremonies on the territory of the former Auschwitz camp.