MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

News

Hear the Voice of Survivors. 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.

ps
25-01-2015

On January 27, 2015, during the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the eyes of the world will be focused on about 300 Survivors who will stand in front of the Death Gate of Auschwitz II-Birkenau. The organizers of the events are the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the International Auschwitz Council. 

“The 70th anniversary will not be the same as previous big anniversaries. We have to say it clearly: it is the last big anniversary that we can commemorate with a numerous group of Survivors. Their voices became the most important warning against the human capacity for extreme humiliation, contempt and genocide”, said Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, the director of the Auschwitz Memorial. 

“However, soon it will not be the witnesses of those years, but us, the post-war generations, who will pass this horrible knowledge and the crushing conclusions that result from it. That is why it is so important that the crowned heads, presidents, prime ministers and high-rank representatives of international institutions present in Birkenau during the commemoration, as well as world public opinion via the media, will listen to the voice of former prisoners”, emphasized Piotr Cywiński. 

For the time being, the following participants have confirmed their presence:

• Armenia – Ashot Hovakimyan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
• Argentina – Patricia Beatriz Salas, Ambassador
• Australia – Josh Frydenberg, Assistant Treasurer
• Austria – President Heinz Fischer
• Azerbaijan – Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs
• Belgium – King Philippe I, Queen Mathilde, Prime Minister Charles Michel
• Belarus – Aleksandr Averyanov, Ambassador
• Bosnia and Herzegovina – Duško Kovačević, Ambassador
• Bulgaria – President Rosen Plevneliev
• Canada - Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism)
• Croatia - President Ivo Josipović
• Cyprus – Andreas Zenonos, Ambassador
• Czech Republic – Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka
• Denmark – Crown Prince Frederik
• Estonia - Harri Tiido, Ambassador
• Finland – Eero Heinäluoma, Speaker of the Parliament    
• France – President François Hollande
• Georgia – Zviad Dzidziguri, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament
• Germany – President Joachim Gauck
• Greece – Tasia Athanasiou, ambasador
• Hungary – Zoltán Balog, State Secretary for Social Inclusion in the Ministry of Administration and Justice.
• Ireland – Charles Flanagan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
• Israel – Silvan Shalom, Minister for the Regional Development
• Italy – President Pietro Grasso (acting)
• Latvia  – Ināra Mūrniece, The Speaker of the Saeima  
• Liechtenstein – Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Culture
• Lithuania – President Dalia Grybauskaitė
• Luxembourg – Hereditary Grand-Duke Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel
• Macedonia - President Ǵorge Iwanow
• Malta – President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca 
• Monaco – José Badia, The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
• New Zealand - Finlyson Chris, Minister of Culture
• The Netherlands – King Willem–Alexander, Queen Máxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte
• Norway – Crown Prince Haakon,  Prime Minister Erna Solberg
• Poland – President Bronisław Komorowski
• Portugal – Bruno Maçães, State Secretary for European Affairs
• Romania - Ioan Vulpescu, Minister of Culture
• Russia – Sergey Ivanov, Chief of the Presidential Administration of Russia
• Serbia – Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy
• Slovakia – President Andrej Kiska 
• Slovenia – President Borut Pahor
• Spain - Jesús Posada Moreno, President of the Congress of Deputies
• Sweden – Crown Princess Victoria, Urban Ahlin, Chairman of the Parliament, Alice Bah Kuhnke, Minister of Culture
• Switzerland – President Simonetta Sommaruga
• Turkey - Mevlut Çavusoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs
• The United Kingdom – Philip Hammond, Minister of Foreign Affairs
• Ukraine – President Petro Poroshenko
• The United States - Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of the Treasury
• Vatican – cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz 


High-rank representatives of international institutions will also be present during the commemoration event of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The major commemorations are going to be held in front of the Death Gate of the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. The entire event will be broadcast life in the media and on the special website devoted to the anniversary 70.auschwitz.org.

Among about 300 former Auschwitz prisoners who will take part in the commemoration event, there will be about 100 Survivors who will come to Auschwitz thanks to the cooperation with the USC Shoah Foundation and the World Jewish Congress, a group of over one hundred former prisoners from Poland as well as the witnesses of Auschwitz who will arrive together with state delegations and other organized groups.

The Museum has also shared a short 30-second video devoted to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It is available on the YouTube site of the Museum

The Germans built the Auschwitz camp in 1940 as a place of incarceration for the Poles.  From 1942, it became the largest site of extermination of the Jews from Europe. In Auschwitz, the Nazi Germans killed at least 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, but also Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and prisoners of other ethnicities. On January 27, 1945 the camp was liberated by the Red Army soldiers

In July 1947, thanks to the efforts of former prisoners, the Museum was created at the site of former Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau camps. Nowadays, nearly 1.5 million people from all over the world visit the Museum every year. In 1979, the site of the former camp was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as the only site of a similar nature. 

January 27, the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp, is commemorated in the world as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.