Europe

Thousands at Auschwitz for yearly Holocaust memorial event

  • Participants of the yearly March of the Living place memory plaques on the rails in the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Brzezinka, Poland, Monday, April 24, 2017. Jews from Israel and around the world marched the 3km route from Auschwitz to Birkenau commemorating the Holocaust victims. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    Participants of the yearly March of the Living place memory plaques on the rails in the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Brzezinka, Poland, Monday, April 24, 2017. Jews from Israel and around the world marched the 3km route from Auschwitz to Birkenau commemorating the Holocaust victims. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Participants of the yearly March of the Living place memory plaques on the rails in the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Brzezinka, Poland, Monday, April 24, 2017. Jews from Israel and around the world marched the 3km route from Auschwitz to Birkenau commemorating the Holocaust victims. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    Participants of the yearly March of the Living place memory plaques on the rails in the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Brzezinka, Poland, Monday, April 24, 2017. Jews from Israel and around the world marched the 3km route from Auschwitz to Birkenau commemorating the Holocaust victims. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

  • Participants of the yearly March of the Living wave Israeli flags as they walk in the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, April 24, 2017. Jews from Israel and around the world marched the 3km route from Auschwitz to Birkenau commemorating the Holocaust victims. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    Participants of the yearly March of the Living wave Israeli flags as they walk in the former German Nazi Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, April 24, 2017. Jews from Israel and around the world marched the 3km route from Auschwitz to Birkenau commemorating the Holocaust victims. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of people from around the world, many of them young Israelis, have gathered at the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz to pay homage to the millions who perished in the Holocaust.

Many carried Israeli flags Monday as they joined the March of the Living, a somber memorial march of about three kilometers (two miles) from the original Auschwitz camp to Birkenau, a much larger death camp where Jews and Roma were murdered in gas chambers.

Many also carried little wooden plaques with messages to place along railway tracks that carried people to their deaths at the camp operated by Germany in occupied Poland during World War II.

The yearly march is also aimed at instilling a desire in Israeli youth to protect the Jewish state.