The World Jewish Congress and the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation have announced that the commemorative events in honor of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp have been postponed due to the coronavirus, which, by mid-March, has shut down most global activity.
Dr. Jens-Christian Wagner, the Managing Director of the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation, said in a statement: “It was not easy for us to cancel the visit program for this year. However, the health of our guests comes first, and we cannot be responsible for letting our elderly guests travel halfway around the world and exposing them to an unacceptable health risk."
The World Jewish Congress was set to be integrally involved in the anniversary’s activities, with WJC President Ronald S. Lauder scheduled to deliver a keynote address beside the Bergen-Belsen mass-graves at the central commemoration on 19 April.
Also postponed were a gathering of men and women now in their 70s who were born in the Displaced Persons camp of Bergen-Belsen between 1945 and 1950, and the unveiling of an exhibition of portraits of daughters of Auschwitz survivor by Israeli photographer Debbie Morag. Both the get-together of the so-called “Belsen Babies” and the photo exhibit are sponsored by the WJC.