King Philippe and many senior officials were present at Brussels-Midi station to see off 1000 young Europeans on a journey to Krakow in Poland. The teenagers will spend their 6-day trip, visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Around 100 Belgian pupils from 26 schools nationwide boarded the “Train for 1,000”, which had been chartered for the event. Organised by the Veteran’s Institute – the National Institute for Veterans and Victims of War, alongside the Auschwitz Foundation and the International Federation of Resistance Fighters (FIR), the “Train for 1,000” is a year-long educational project about remembrance and the Holocaust, aimed at children of secondary school age. The journey to Krakow will undoubtedly be the highlight of the programme.
On site, the teenagers will be accompanied on their visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by several survivors. On Friday, they will attend an international remembrance ceremony in Birkenau to commemorate the victory against Nazism.
Jo Cornu, CEO of the SNCB, Henri Goldberg, president of the Auschwitz Foundation, and Jacqueline Galant, Minister for the Department of Transport, applauded the 600 youngsters starting their trip at Brussels Midi station. “When you return home, you will bear witness to what you saw there. You will become the ambassadors for “Never Again”, said Jacqueline Galant. King Philippe did not make a speech but saw the youngsters off from the platform.
The 600 will be joined by a further 400 on the journey to Poland. The teenagers come from Belgium and 9 other European countries.