28 January 2015

Remembering Auschwitz

Yesterday marked the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz. In honour of the occasion a memorial service took place which including many members of various European Royals alongside dignitaries and over 300 survivors. This is obviously about much more than the royals, it commemorates the loss of nearly one million victims during the war. However, I feel that the attendance of the royals is important as it reminds us just how important it is that we remember those killed and it shows just how many countries were affected by the war.

Among the royals who attended the event in Poland were King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands along with King Phillip and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians.

The Scandinavian heirs, Frederik, Haakon and Victoria were also in attendance. The latter of which was surrounded with a small amount of controversy as a reporter questioned her about her maternal grandfather who was involved with the Nazi party. I have to say personally that I felt the reporter was rather tactless given the event and that, at the time, Victoria was standing next to Holocaust survivors. You can see the short clip from the interview (with English subtitles) here.

Earlier in the day Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess St├ęphanie laid a wreath in memory of the victims.

Many other events took place all over the world to commemorate the anniversary including a ceremony that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attended at London's Westminster Central Hall. There the Prince made a moving speech reminding us of why it is so important that we never forget the Holocaust and it's victims. You can hear the speech in full here.

I will end with a fact that I read yesterday which I found particularly moving and eye-opening; if we were to have a single minutes silence for every victim of the Holocaust then we would be silent for eleven and a half years.

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