Auschwitz survivors, Soviet veterans and leaders including Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu gather on Wednesday for emotionally-charged ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the notorious Nazi death camp’s liberation. Ahead of a commemoration at the site of the World War II camp in German-occupied Poland, 700 participants started assembling in the southern city of Krakow for a morning memorial event organised by the European Jewish Congress (EJC). “The Holocaust is the tragedy which unites Europe,” European Jewish Congress leader Moshe Kantor said on the eve of the Krakow ceremony, which US President Barack Obama was due to address by video. Auschwitz — liberated by the Soviet Red Army on January 27, 1945 — is an enduring symbol of Nazi German genocide. In 2005 the United Nations declared the date International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
viaAFP: Auschwitz victims mourned on 65th anniversary.
siehe auch: Children of Auschwitz recall liberation 65 years on. Kazimiera Wasiak is a 76-year-old Polish pensioner who will forever remain a child of Auschwitz. When she was only 11, Wasiak spent six months in Nazi Germanys largest and most infamous World War II death camp, barely surviving on “a slop of water and rye flour”. Severely malnourished, she became gravely ill but believes this may have saved her life. Today, as treasurer of an Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors’ association in Warsaw, she meets regularly with a dwindling number of members, many of whom shared her fate like 78-year-old Stanislaw Przeradski. “After living five years in Warsaw under the Nazis we were no longer children when we came to Auschwitz,” said Przeradksi, who was only 13 at the time. “We’d seen it all — firing squads shooting innocents in the street, brutality, air raids,” he told AFP. All told, around 232,000 children were held prisoner in Auschwitz, including 216,000 Jews, 11,000 Roma, 3,000 Poles and the rest from Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere, according to Auschwitz-Birkenau museum historians.