ROME (JTA) — Hundreds of Italian students traveled to Poland on special trips organized to mark international Holocaust Memorial Day.
Some 130 high school students from all over Italy flew to Poland on Jan. 20 on the annual Voyage of Memory to Auschwitz and Krakow sponsored by the Italian Education Ministry in collaboration with the Union of Italian Jewish Communities.
Joining them were dignitaries that included Italy’s justice and education ministers; the president of Italy’s state broadcasting company, RAI; the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities; Israel’s ambassador to Italy, Holocaust survivors; and Holocaust historians.
A day earlier, about 700 college-age students from northern Italy left for Krakow and Auschwitz on the fifth edition of the so-called Memory Train organized by regional authorities and an educational NGO called Terra del Fuoco. Earlier in the month, more than 700 students from 60 high schools and universities in southern Italy’s Puglia region made a similar trip.
Italy mandates Holocaust education in its public schools, and hundreds of students take part in educational trips to Auschwitz throughout the year.
International Holocaust Memorial Day is observed on Jan. 27.