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Train of 1000


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:

  • Education: the young people will visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and site to learn about the atrocities of the Nazi regime;
  • Remembrance: they will look around the camp accompanied by survivors and eyewitnesses;
  • Citizenship: they will learn about the history of concentration camps during World War II and find out what can happen when human rights are neglected.

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).

More information about the progress of the train is available at or on Facebook and Twitter (  Further details are also available on