“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
The "Train of 1000" arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau on 8 May to commemorate the date of the liberation of Europe.
On Saturday, 5 May 2012, a train headed for Auschwitz-Birkenau left the Belgian station of Schaerbeek, where trains with deportees departed from during the Second World War. By the time it reached its destination, it was carrying 1,000 young people ages 16 to 18. These students took part in the international ceremony at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Monument on 8 May 2012 to commemorate the liberation of Europe alongside Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. Of the 1,000 young people on board, 720 came from throughout Belgium and 280 were from other European countries.
This initiative, which aims to mobilize Europe's youth in a mass symbolic show of democracy that rejects political extremism, has a number of objectives:
This special journey is the initiative of the National Institute for Veterans - National Institute for War Invalids, War Veterans and War Victims (IV-INOG/IV-NIOOO [website in French]), the Auschwitz Foundation, and the International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR).