Nazi death camp survivors to mark 79th anniversary of liberation on Holocaust Remembrance Day – National

0
29

A group of survivors of Nazi death camps will mark the 79th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp during World War II in a modest ceremony Saturday in southern Poland.

About 20 survivors from various camps set up by Nazi Germany around Europe were to lay wreaths at the Death Wall in Auschwitz and hold prayers at the monument in Birkenau. They will memorialize around 1.1 million camp victims, mostly Jews. The attentively preserved memorial site and museum are located near the city of Oswiecim.

Nearly 6 million European Jews were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust — the mass murder of Jews and other groups before and during World War II.

Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the survivors will be accompanied by Polish Senate Speaker Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, Culture Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz and Israeli Ambassador Yacov Livne.

The theme of the observances is the human being, symbolized in simple, hand-drawn portraits. They are meant to stress that the horror of Auschwitz-Birkenau lies in the suffering of people held and killed there.

Story continues below advertisement

Holocaust victims were commemorated across Europe.

In Germany, where people put down flowers and lit candles at memorials for the victims of the Nazi terror, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that his country would continue to carry the responsibility for this “crime against humanity.”

He called on all citizens to defend Germany’s democracy and fight antisemitism., as the country marked the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

“Never again’ is every day,” Scholz said in his weekly video podcast. “Jan. 27 calls out to us: Stay visible! Stay audible! Against antisemitism, against racism, against misanthropy — and for our democracy.”


Click to play video: 'Holocaust survivor’s warning about rise of antisemitism'


Holocaust survivor’s warning about rise of antisemitism


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose country is fighting to repel Russia’s full-scale invasion, posted an image of a Jewish menorah on X, formerly known as Twitter, to mark the remembrance day.

Story continues below advertisement

“Every new generation must learn the truth about the Holocaust. Human life must remain the highest value for all nations in the world,” said Zelenskyy, who is Jewish and has lost relatives in the Holocaust.


Get the latest National news.

Sent to your email, every day.

“Eternal memory to all Holocaust victims!” Zelenskyy tweeted.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Friday denounced rising antisemitism and delivered a powerful speech in support of the Jewish people.

Mattarella called the Holocaust “the most abominable of crimes,” and recalled the complicity of Italians under Fascism in the deportation of Jews.

Also Friday, Rome’s police chief ordered pro-Palestinian activists to postpone a rally that had been scheduled for Saturday. Israel’s Jewish community has complained that such protests have become occasions for the memory of the Holocaust to be co-opted by anti-Israel forces and used against Jews.

In Poland, a memorial ceremony with prayers was held Friday in Warsaw at the foot of the Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto, who fell fighting the Nazis in 1943.

Earlier in the week, the countries of the former Yugoslavia signed an agreement in Paris to jointly renovate Block 17 in the red-brick Auschwitz camp and install a permanent exhibition there in memory of around 20,000 people who were deported from their territories and brought to the block. Participating in the project will be Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

Story continues below advertisement

Preserving the camp, a notorious symbol of the horrors of the Holocaust, with its cruelly misleading “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work Makes One Free”) gate, requires constant effort by historians and experts, and substantial funds.


Click to play video: 'Holocaust remembrance day: Trudeau says ‘dark corners’ of antisemitism on the rise in Canada'


Holocaust remembrance day: Trudeau says ‘dark corners’ of antisemitism on the rise in Canada


The Nazis, who occupied Poland from 1939-1945, at first used old Austrian military barracks at Auschwitz as a concentration and death camp for Poland’s resistance fighters. In 1942, the wooden barracks, gas chambers and crematoria of Birkenau were added for the extermination of Europe’s Jews, Roma and other nationals, as well as Russian prisoners of war.

Soviet Red Army troops liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau on Jan. 27, 1945, with about 7,000 prisoners there, children and those who were too weak to walk. The Germans had evacuated tens of thousands of other inmates on foot days earlier in what is now called the Death March, because many inmates died of exhaustion and cold in the sub-freezing temperatures.

Story continues below advertisement

Since 1979, the Auschwitz-Birkenau site has been on the UNESCO list of World Heritage.

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enable Google Transliteration.(To type in English, press Ctrl+g)