“The 70th anniversary will not be the same as previous big anniversaries. We have to say it clearly: it is the last big anniversary that we can commemorate with a numerous group of Survivors. Their voices became the most important warning against the human capacity for extreme humiliation, contempt and genocide”, said Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, the director of the Auschwitz Memorial.
“However, soon it will not be the witnesses of those years, but us, the post-war generations, who will pass this horrible knowledge and the crushing conclusions that result from it. That is why it is so important that the crowned heads, presidents, prime ministers and high-rank representatives of international institutions present in Birkenau during the commemoration, as well as world public opinion via the media, will listen to the voice of former prisoners”, emphasized Piotr Cywiński.
The major commemorations are going to be held in front of the Death Gate of the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. The entire event will be broadcast life in the media and on the special website devoted to the anniversary 70.auschwitz.org.
Among about 300 former Auschwitz prisoners who will take part in the commemoration event, there will be about 100 Survivors who will come to Auschwitz thanks to the cooperation with the USC Shoah Foundation and the World Jewish Congress, a group of over one hundred former prisoners from Poland as well as the witnesses of Auschwitz who will arrive together with state delegations and other organized groups.
The Museum has also shared a short 30-second video devoted to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It is available on the YouTube site of the Museum.
The Germans built the Auschwitz camp in 1940 as a place of incarceration for the Poles. From 1942, it became the largest site of extermination of the Jews from Europe. In Auschwitz, the Nazi Germans killed at least 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, but also Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and prisoners of other ethnicities. On January 27, 1945 the camp was liberated by the Red Army soldiers
In July 1947, thanks to the efforts of former prisoners, the Museum was created at the site of former Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau camps. Nowadays, nearly 1.5 million people from all over the world visit the Museum every year. In 1979, the site of the former camp was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as the only site of a similar nature.
January 27, the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp, is commemorated in the world as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.