On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Nazi Death Camp Survivors Mark 79th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation
Share this:

By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) — A solemn ceremony unfolded in southern Poland as survivors of Nazi death camps gathered to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War II. Approximately 20 survivors from various Nazi camps across Europe participated in the modest ceremony.

At Auschwitz, the survivors laid wreaths and flowers, lighting candles at the Death Wall—a site where thousands of inmates, mostly Polish resistance members, were executed by the Nazis. The group then convened with state officials for a ceremony at a recently conserved women’s barrack at Birkenau. There, they prayed and lit candles at the monument, honoring the 1.1 million camp victims, predominantly Jews.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day was observed globally, with survivors joined by Polish Senate Speaker Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, Culture Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, and Israeli Ambassador Yacov Livne.

The theme of the observances emphasized the human aspect, symbolized by simple hand-drawn portraits beamed on a screen during the Birkenau ceremony. The goal was to underscore that the horror of Auschwitz-Birkenau lies in the suffering endured by the people held and killed there.

In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz acknowledged the responsibility his country carries for the “crime against humanity” committed by the Nazis. He urged citizens to defend democracy and fight against antisemitism.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, amidst his country’s conflict with Russia, emphasized the importance of every generation learning the truth about the Holocaust. In Italy, commemorations included a torchlit procession, while Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni vowed to eradicate resurging antisemitism.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jews, and Muslims convened in Srebrenica to jointly observe Holocaust Remembrance Day, promoting compassion and dialogue amid the Israel-Hamas war. The event emphasized the shared experience of persecution and unity in the commitment to peace.

New York law professor Menachem Rosensaft highlighted the significance of this year’s observances, coming after the recent attack by Hamas on Israel. He stressed the importance of bringing people together to prevent such atrocities from happening again.

The week also saw an agreement among countries in the former Yugoslavia to renovate Block 17 in Auschwitz and install a permanent exhibition in memory of those deported from their territories. The Auschwitz-Birkenau site, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, stands as a constant reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust and requires ongoing preservation efforts.

Share this:
All comments.