By COLlive reporter
Where will billionaire Len Blavatnik, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, media mogul Haim Saban and CNN President Jeff Zucker be meeting this month?
These top business executives, joined by David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications and Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal, will be marking the liberation of the German Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Tuesday, January 27, will be 70 years since the Soviet Red Army liberated the Nazis’ deadliest extermination camp in south-western Poland. An estimated 1.1 million inmates, mostly Jews, were murdered in the camp’s gas chambers.
The business leaders are former and current members of “Auschwitz: The Past is Present Committee,” which is helping to support official activities of the 70th anniversary which will attract some 300 Auschwitz survivors.
In a historic recreation, four of the thirteen Holocaust survivors who appeared, as children, in the famed Alexander Vorontsov photo while they were liberated at Auschwitz- Birkenau will return for the commemoration.
They will be just some of the large contingent of Auschwitz survivors who will travel to Poland to the site where more than a million European Jews were murdered by the German Nazis.
“This 70th anniversary will be the last occasion we’ll be able to commemorate with so many survivors in our midst,” said Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywinski, the Director of the Auschwitz Memorial. “This will be a truly global gathering at a time when the world must come together to fight the plague of violence against people based on their religious or ethnic backgrounds.”
The anniversary comes at a time when the world is plagued by numerous examples of violence committed against people based on their religions and ethnic backgrounds and a disturbing wave of anti-Semitism is occurring across Europe.
Here is a list, alphabetized by country, of additional, expected attending political leaders from throughout the world:
• Argentina – Patricia Beatriz Salas, Ambassador
• Australia – Josh Frydenberg, Assistant Treasurer
• Austria – President Heinz Fischer
• Belgium – King Philippe I, Queen Mathilde, Prime Minister Charles Michel
• Bulgaria – President Rosen Plevneliev
• Canada – Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism)
• Croatia – President Ivo Josipović
• Cyprus – Andreas Zenonos, Ambassador
• Czech Republic – Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka
• Denmark – Crown Prince Frederik
• Estonia – Harri Tiido, Ambassador
• Finland – Speaker of the Parliament Eero Heinäluoma
• France – President François Hollande
• Germany – President Joachim Gauck
• Hungary – Zoltán Balog, State Secretary for Social Inclusion in the Ministry of Administration and Justice.
• Ireland – Charles Flanagan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
• Latvia – The Speaker of the Saeima Ināra Mūrniece
• Liechtenstein – Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Culture
• Lithuania – Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs
• Luxembourg – Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel
• Malta – President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca
• Monaco – José Badia, The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
• New Zealand – Finlyson Chris, Minister of Culture
• The Netherlands – King Willem–Alexander, Queen Máxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte
• Norway – Crown Prince Haakon, Prime Minister Erna Solberg
• Poland – President Bronisław Komorowski
• Portugal – Bruno Maçães, State Secretary for European Affairs
• Russia – Sergey Ivanov, Chief of the Presidential Administration of Russia
• Serbia – Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy
• Slovakia – President Andrej Kiska
• Slovenia – President Borut Pahor
• Spain – Jesús Posada Moreno, President of the Congress of Deputies
• Sweden – Crown Princess Victoria
• Switzerland – President Simonetta Sommaruga
• Turkey – Mevlut Çavusoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs
• The United Kingdom – Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
• Ukraine – President Petro Poroshenko
• The United States – Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury
• Vatican – cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz