72 Years After Auschwitz, Survivors Return For Powerful Moment You Won’t Forget

72 years ago this week, the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz was liberated by allied forces.

The atrocities committed at that camp are well documented and should never be forgotten.

For the survivors of that evil place, January 27th—what is now International Holocaust Day—is a day with especially incredible meaning.

Elderly survivors gathered today and remembered one of the darkest periods in world history…

From Times of Israel:

Dozens of Auschwitz survivors placed wreaths and flowers Friday at the infamous execution wall of the former German death camp, paying homage to the victims of Adolf Hitler’s regime exactly 72 years after the camp’s liberation.

Jan. 27, the anniversary of the day that the Soviet army liberated the camp in German-occupied Poland in 1945, is recognized as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and commemorative events were also being held across Europe and Israel.

Elderly survivors at Auschwitz, which today is a memorial site and museum, paid homage to those killed by wearing striped scarves reminiscent of the garb prisoners once wore there.

They walked slowly beneath the notorious gate with the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Will Set You Free) and made their way as a group to the execution wall, where they lit candles and prayed.

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In a society where we constantly celebrate things like “National Donut Day” and “National Best Friend Day” it would be nice if Americans could take a moment to focus on the incredible amount of lives lost at Auschwitz.

Over a million people were killed at this one camp alone.

A somber and sobering reminder of how far we have come in 70 years.

Here’s more…

From USA Today:

Dozens of Auschwitz survivors began a day of commemorations by placing wreaths and flowers at the infamous execution wall on the 72nd anniversary of the camp’s liberation by Soviet soldiers. The United Nations recognized January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005, and many commemorative events were taking place across the world on Friday.

“Tragically, and contrary to our resolve, anti-Semitism continues to thrive,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in statement made in New York Thursday, and which was read out at the U.N. headquarters in Geneva on Friday. “We are also seeing a deeply troubling rise in extremism, xenophobia, racism and anti-Muslim hatred. Irrationality and intolerance are back.”

Elderly survivors at Auschwitz, which today is a museum and partially preserved memorial, paid homage to those killed by wearing striped scarves to symbolize the uniforms prisoners were given when they arrived at the concentration camp.

They walked slowly beneath the notorious gate with the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Will Set You Free) and made their way as a group to the execution wall, where they lit candles and prayed.

Janina Malec, a Polish survivor whose parents were killed at the execution wall, described her yearly visit as a “pilgrimage” and told the PAP news agency that “as long as I live I will come here.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Europe and Israel today.

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