Auschwitz Liberation Day, observed on January 27, is a day that sums up the history of the Holocaust — to commemorate the Jews that were killed and abused. A genocide of these victims by Nazi Germany occurred between 1941 and 1945. So much history, so many stories, and propaganda came about from these critical years. It’s been more than half a century and we are urged not to forget. This day reminds every one of us that nothing good came about from the Holocaust, a true event in history, that only condemned and killed six million Jews.
History of Auschwitz Liberation Day
Auschwitz, also called Auschwitz-Birkenau, was the Nazis’ biggest and most known concentration and extermination camp. Auschwitz was known to be the “final solution” because of its devastating ways of abuse and murder, especially of Jews. Located in the southern part of Poland, known as Oswiecim, the largest Nazi camp consisted of three parts: a prison camp, a slave-labor camp, and an extermination camp. These camps involved gas chambers and cremation furnaces. Auschwitz’s doctors would perform medical experiments and inhumane procedures on some prisoners, using injections, radiation, and sterilization.
Germans decided to forgo the camp by the start of 1945. On January 17, 1945, 67,000 prisoners were prompted to attend a “death march.” Prisoners who were too weak to walk were killed on the spot. While this happened, the Germans were trying to remove and erase any semblance of the camp and the crimes they’ve committed. On January 27 of the same year, Soviet soldiers of the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front entered Auschwitz, and thus a mere 7,000 prisoners were finally free of the wretchedness and affliction of the camp.
Upon investigation after this discovery, the Soviet Commission investigated all of the Holocaust’s history, especially Nazi acts, and crimes done in the campground. Today, it is known that 1.1 million people died in Auschwitz, mainly consisting of Jews. Aside from the anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation, January 27 is also appointed as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Auschwitz Liberation Day timeline
On January 27, the gates of Auschwitz open and the prisoners are finally free from the Holocaust and the Auschwitz camp.
The Auschwitz concentration camp is renamed “Auschwitz-Birkenau” by the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This year celebrates and commemorates the 75th anniversary of all the victims of Auschwitz.
Together, the United Nations and UNESCO organizes a set of events to mark the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration camp, Auschwitz.
Auschwitz Liberation Day FAQs
What happens on Auschwitz Liberation Day?
This day is a day to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust but also rejoice for those who were able to be free from Auschwitz.
Does Auschwitz still stand today?
It is considered a Unesco World Heritage Site, maintained by the Polish government as a museum and memorial.
Who liberated Auschwitz on January 27, 1945?
The Soviet Army was the one that entered Auschwitz and freed around 7,000 inmates.
How to Observe Auschwitz Liberation Day
Do your research
Before understanding what this day means for so much of mankind, it is important to delve into history. Investigate and learn more about the Holocaust to truly make sense of this day. Many books and films are made to capture the essence of this event.
Share the rich history
All Holocaust survivors are at an old age, and half of these witnesses have passed away so don’t let the details die. It’s crucial that history is not forgotten and the stories of all these Jews be told to the world so this will never happen again. Take to your social media accounts and share the rich history with fellow friends and family.
Practice the teachings
This event speaks of the role of power and its victims when it comes to the Nazi Germans and German Jews. This may have happened more than half a century ago but it does not mean we forget what it teaches us about human morals and values. If you know any survivors get into contact with them, or if they’ve passed on, look them up to get more information on their struggles and how they fought to become strong and remembered individuals.
5 Interesting Facts About Auschwitz
Not only Jews were victims
Aside from Jews, around 150,000 Polish and 22,000 Romani were killed as well.
Each prisoner was given a number
Each prisoner sent to this camp had a specific individual number for counting purposes.
There were many camps inside Auschwitz
There was a rough estimate of 44 sub-camps within Auschwitz-Birkenau, being by far the largest concentration and extermination camp.
The use of Auschwitz began in 1940
The first prisoner of the camp arrived on June 14, 1940.
Belongings of those killed were left
There is a room full of shoes from 80,000 victims.
Why Auschwitz Liberation Day is Important
We learn about history
We learn about the history of World War II, specifically in the context of Germany. We discover the hard facts and truth that came about during the 1940s and onwards.
Human beings were able to reach freedom again
Auschwitz contained innocent people who were killed. It’s so important to commemorate and remember that those liberated were able to live freely after a time of cruelty and condemnation.
It reminds us of the need to take action
Every day, we face instances of injustices, crime, racism, and hate. By learning and hearing about the stories of the people who went through this inhumane time, we can empathize and be certain that nothing like this should ever happen again, may it be to a group, race, or even one person.
Auschwitz Liberation Day dates