Netanyahu Heads to Poland for Auschwitz Visit


netanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Binyamin  Netanyahu is traveling today to Poland for a highly emotional visit to the Auschwitz death camp after he warned of a sharp rise in anti-Semitism across the world. A ceremony on Wednesday will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi camp where some 1.1 Jews perished between June 1940 and January 1945.

Netanyahu will be accompanied by a delegation of Israeli MPs and Holocaust survivors.

The visit was set to be a particularly emotionally charged for Netanyahu, whose wife’s father was the only member of his family to survive the Nazi Holocaust in which some six million Jews were murdered.

“This will be a very emotional visit. No Jew can go to such a venue without having the weight of history and memory on his shoulders,” Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev said.

“We will not allow Holocaust deniers to carry out another Jewish Holocaust. This is the supreme commitment of the state of Israel, and it is my supreme commitment as prime minister of Israel,” Netanyahu said in speech last year.

“The state of Israel is the shield. It is the comfort and hope of the Jewish people.”

And on the eve of his trip, Netanyahu warned against a new rise of anti-Semitism in the wake of Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip last year.

“The fight against anti-Semitism is more important than ever because there has been a significant rise in the number of expressions of anti-Semitism since Operation Cast Lead,” he said on Sunday.

“This anti-Semitism is mixed with a new attempt to deny the Jewish state the right of self-defense.”

Last August, a German publishing house presented Netanyahu with the original blueprints of Auschwitz which will be put on display on Wednesday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Yerushalayim.

“There are those who deny that the Holocaust happened,” Netanyahu said upon receiving the yellowed documents in Berlin. “Let them come to Jerusalem and look at these plans, these plans for the factory of death.”

On Tuesday, Netanyahu will also hold talks in Warsaw with President Lech Kaczynski, Prime Minister Donald Tusk and other officials.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp outside the city of Krakow was liberated on January 27, 1945 by Soviet troops. The day was designated International Holocaust Memorial Day by the United Nations in 2005.

{ Israel}