Ukrainian and Russian youth held a symbolic reconciliation action in Auschwitz
Saint Egidio community held the IV International Congress ‘European Youth for Peace without Violence’ at the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in present-day Poland that lasted three days, September 18-20 and ended with a symbolic act of brotherly love – young Ukrainian embraced with their Russian peers.
“Here a new hope for a peaceful future is being born,” said a Ukrainian woman and a Russian young man continued, "Today, unfortunately, the young people of our country do not often get together in the spirit of peace. If it was possible here, so it may be everywhere.”
The previous day two girls from Moscow and Kyiv read together Ukrainian and Russian final call phrases that sounded during a touching ceremony in Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Young people from Russia and Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Georgia and Italy silently marched to the gate of the camp along the railroad tracks where trains with victims of Nazi arrived, to commemorative plates near the crematoria ovens. Subsequently, young people, representatives of nations participating in the meeting laid commemorative wreaths. One wreath had an inscription in memory of the Jewish victims, the other was in memory of Romale.
According to the press service of the Community of Saint Egidio, a memorail ceremony was ending a day that was completely dedicated to the Auschwitz museum and its victims. The Congress participant made a tour of the territory of the former camp, learned of the tragic stories of several prisoners and their daily lives, examined the face in the photos on display at the exhibition.
One hundred years after the First World War, solemn words rejecting the war with the desire for peace sounded in the "Final call" of the Congress participants in Auschwitz: "War can only be defeated by peace. Building peace requires courage. Without peace there is no future for either winners or losers for. Our world has lost ideals. We have the ideal for which it is worth living: peace is truly the future for everyone!”