Auschwitz to Holland Relay
This year, for the first time, a flame was taken to Auschwitz concentration camp, before making its way back to Wageningen for the 70th anniversary commemorations under the banner of the Frank Graham Liberation Tour
This tour was tough in terms of content and emotion, as the group focussed on the Nazi concentration camps. A conscious decision was made to closely co-operate with the Liberation Route Europe foundation (www.liberationroute.com). This foundation is organising a number of activities around the theme of 70 years of Operation Market Garden. Independently of the organisation, the Freedom Flame in the UK was involved in major commemorations in Woodhall Spa, in September 2014.
Please take a look at the Liberation Route website to see the liberation routes and the great achievements of Allied freedom fighters that helped to end the occupation of Western Europe and the Nazi regime. Many of these men and women gave their lives for Freedom. The site will also show you their calendar of commemoration.
The Eastern European tour started at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, one of the darkest places in history. From Auschwitz the cycle tour continued through the Czech Republic to Therisienstadt. This camp was a showcase for the Nazi regime during World War II. To outsiders it was a model Jewish settlement but in reality it served it as a ghetto and concentration camp. In telling the story, the team of cyclists will followed the path to Dresden, Germany. Dresden was heavily bombed by the Allies during the war. After a short detour to Berlin the riders continued their journey to Bergen Belsen camp. Anne Frank was eventually transferred to this camp, where she died in 1945. The tour will continued through Westerbork and on to Markelo where family, friends and the citizens of Markelo, awaited their arrival. In Markelo, committee members, riders and the joint pipe and drum band from Ontario joined memorial services to honor the liberators.
From Markelo, the Torch was carried to Wageningen to start the 5th May liberation parade.