Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Holocaust Memorial Day

Auschwitz survivor Miroslaw Celka walks out the gate with the sign saying "Work makes you free" after paying tribute to fallen comrades at the "death wall" execution spot in the former Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland, on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp on Jan. 27, 2015.

Auschwitz survivor Miroslaw Celka walks out the gate with the sign saying "Work makes you free" 

Today marks 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. At least 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz - the largest extermination camp of Nazi Germany, which was in Poland - around 90 percent of them Jewish; approximately 1 in 6 Jews killed in the Holocaust died at the camp.World leaders joined about 300 survivors to commemorate those who died, and those who survived, the Holocaust. About 1,500 survivors returned in 2005; many of the remaining survivors, now elderly, were children and teens when they were held in Auschwitz. The Soviet army was responsible for liberating the camp in 1945, which opened as a museum just two years later, in 1947.

Today is a day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Today the world remembers the 11 million lives lost under the Nazi regime; 11 million people who lived, learned, thrived, struggled, laughed, worked and loved. Those 11 million people were stripped of their individuality and humanity. Days such as today remind me why it is so important to remember the Holocaust, and other tragedies, such as the the Rwandan genocide, Srebrenica Massacre, genocide in Darfur, and others, in order to prevent them ever happening again.