On 14th June 1940, the Germans brought 728 Poles – political prisoners from Tarnów – to Auschwitz in the first transport. In commemoration of this event, 14th June as established by the Polish Sejm as the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of German Nazi Concentration Camps and Death Camps.
At Wednesday’s commemoration of the 83rd anniversary of the first transport, the Remembrance Museum was represented by Director Dorota Mleczko and Aleksandra Bibrzycka. After Mass at the St. Maximilian Center in Harmęże, delegations laid wreaths and flower bouquets at the plaque on the former Monopoly building, where prisoners from Tarnów were taken on 14th June 1940 (now home to the Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki State University of Małopolska). Later, at the Death Wall at the former Auschwitz Concentration Camp, participants in the commemoration paid tribute to the murdered.
The ceremonies were attended by former prisoners and witnesses to history, as well as representatives of state bodies, associations and other organizations. Among them were Zofia Romaszewska representing Polish President Andrzej Duda and Deputy Prime Minister of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Prof. Piotr Gliński. The district’s delegations were led by District Head Andrzej Skrzypiński, and on behalf of the Marshal’s Office, flowers were laid by Jakub Przewoźnik. Ronald S. Lauder, chairman of the World Jewish Congress, also participated in the ceremonies.
The Remembrance Museum was a co-organizer of the event.
The main anniversary commemorations were followed by the grand opening of the new Visitor Service Centre, which was built adjacent to the former Auschwitz I camp on Więźniów Oświęcimia street in Oswiecim.