Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall commemorated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau for Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday at a solemn service at the infamous death camp in Poland.
Leading the U.K. delegation for the ceremony alongside Lord Eric Pickles, the U.K. Post-Holocaust Envoy, the duchess joined survivors and 40 officials from across Europe for the service, which was held underneath a tent above the former camp’s gate house.
After the Ecumenical Prayers at the conclusion of the service, Camilla, 72, joined survivors by the railway lines that brought the prisoners to the camp. The duchess also helped place candles at the main memorial to pay tribute to the Holocaust victims.
Polish President Andrzej Duda delivered the welcome address, which was followed by readings from survivors of Auschwitz. Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress and Dr. Piotr Cywinski, Director of Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum also spoke.
Born in Poland in 1929, Renee Salt and her parents were taken by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. After many years of hardship under Nazi control, Renee and her mother were liberated in 1945.— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) January 27, 2020
The Duchess previously met Renee in 2013 at the Holocaust Survivors Centre in North London. pic.twitter.com/gcKQqJCwGu
The duchess and her husband, Charles, Prince of Wales, previously attended the National Holocaust Memorial Day service in 2015 to commemorate 70th anniversary of the liberation, where they met with Holocaust survivors.
Charles, who became Patron of The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in 2017, delivered a moving and powerful foreword at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial, for the World Holocaust Forum last Thursday.
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The prince stated the Holocaust is everyone’s story, “a story of incomprehensible inhumanity, from which all humanity can and must learn.”
He added, “The Holocaust must never be allowed to become simply a fact of history: we must never cease to be appalled, nor moved by the testimony of those who lived through it. Their experience must always educate, and guide, and warn us.”