Knesset to hold session at Auschwitz in January

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Exactly 69 years after the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, the Knesset is set to hold a special session on the site in January 2014, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The historic event was initiated by the management of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which has invited Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and all members of the Israeli parliament to participate in a discussion and memorial ceremony.

The delegation will return to Israel later that day after a series of events.

According to the schedule, a special plane will leave Israel for Auschwitz on the morning of the event, carrying Knesset members, dozens of Holocaust survivors and other senior Israeli officials, including Israel Defense Forces generals, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and his father, former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Israeli Nobel Prize laureates and youth movement representatives.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, a former Ausch-witz prisoner, will deliver a speech at the special session.

“The Knesset’s decision to hold a meeting at Auschwitz on the day of the camp’s liberation on Jan. 26, is unusual, almost impossible, and of course a very positive and important decision for all of us — Israel, Poland, Jews and non-Jews,” Piotr Cywinski, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, said.

The event will be funded by an anonymous Holocaust survivor. —