the whole world is commemorating "Memorial Day"
in remembrance of the end of the Shoah
. On 27 January in 1945 troops freed the prisoners who had been deported and imprisoned in the Auschwitz
concentration camps. Since then the international community had the idea of designating every January 27th as "Memorial Day", a decision shared by many European countries and of the United Nations.
The organizers of the 67th Tour de Pologne, which will take place from August 1st to the 7th, 2010, also wanted to remember this tragedy. The 2010 edition of the Polish race will feature the start of a stage from Oswiecim, "The City of Peace" close to where the occupying troops decided to build the Auschwitz concentration camp, which became a sad icon of the Holocaust in the international collective memory. The 6th stage, scheduled for Friday, August 6th, on the roads from Oswiecim to Bukowina Tatrzanska for a total of more than 240 km, will be an important occasion to render homage to the victims of this sad page from history. This stage will be very difficult, with the arrival on a climb. It promises to be the hardest stage in the 2010 edition, and most probably will decide the winner of the Tour de Pologne.
"We think it's important to do our part to commemorate the Shoah - explains Czeslaw Lang, General Director of the Tour de Pologne -. The spirit is that of remembering in order to better learn from the mistakes of our past, so that tragedies like these on this large a scale can never happen again. The 6th stage will start from the centre of Oswiecim and the riders will proceed in an orderly, poised manner to the ex-concentration camps Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau. Here there will be a break under the sadly famous phrase "Arbeit macht frei" (work makes man free) and a minute of silence will be observed. A rider from each country will be lined up in the first row. The goal is to communicate a message of universal peace, equality, brotherhood and trans-nationality. These important values are stronger than differences in language, ideology or religion, values that are at the heart of sport and cycling, which we can and must contribute to spreading throughout the world."