More than a million people were killed at Auschwitz in Poland during WWII.The majority were Jews and the former extermination camp is the world’s biggest Jewish cemetery. Others who did not fit the Nazis’ world view died there too. Many of the concentration camps set up by the Nazis were razed to the ground, but Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated on January 27, 1945 by Soviet troops before it was completely destroyed. 2015 is the 70th anniversary of that liberation.
The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27th INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY to commemorate the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jews, 1 million Gypsies, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
One of our clients in the Holocaust Survivors Program, Valeria Himmel, was among those who were liberated from Auschwitz-Birkenau. Read more about her and our other Survivors who have shared their stories with us. https://jfcstucson.org/valeria-himmel/