Thousands ‘march’ from Auschwitz to Birkenau to honor those killed in Holocaust

BY Justin Scuiletti  April 28, 2014 at 3:41 PM EDT

In Poland Monday, thousands of students, among many others, marched between Auschwitz and Birkenau in memory of the millions killed during the Holocaust.

The walk is part of the March of the Living, an annual program that brings youths from all around the world to the notorious death camp in Poland “to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate.” The march between the two parts of Nazi Germany’s notorious death complex occurs every year on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Since the first event in 1988, the March of the Living organizers say more than 150,000 youths have walked the path.

Monday’s walk, however, also marked another somber anniversary: 70 years since the destruction of the Hungarian Jewry. Starting in April 1944, the Nazi regime began rounding up Hungarian Jews with the help of Hungarian collaborators:

Beginning in April of 1944 (often during Pesach), Nazi Germany, with the help of its local Hungarian collaborators, began rounding up the Jews of Hungary, from the smallest villages, to the capital of Budapest, where one quarter of the population was Jewish. The first deportations of Hungarian Jews began on April 29, 1944, with the first transport arriving in Auschwitz-Birkenau on May 2, 1944. The last transport arrived on July 11, 1944.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial museum, 1.1 million Jews were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau.