Holocaust Remembrance Day: Auschwitz Liberated 65 Years Ago
Today is the U.N. International Holocaust Remembrance Day designated by the United Nations General Assembly on November 1, 2005 to commemorate the victims of Nazi extermination. But, January 27 marks another sad anniversary in the history of WWII. The Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated on January 27, 1945 by the 322nd Rifle Division of the Red Army. The Soviets liberated 7,500 prisoners. However, they have also found 348,820 men's suits and 836,255 women's garments. The camp went into the annals of history as the epitome of Nazi brutality. The notorious motto that hung on the gates of the entrance into the camp said, "arbeit macht frei," which stands for "work makes you free." The famous gate sign was stolen last December. It was later recovered, leading to the arrests of five men.
It is estimated anywhere from 2.5 to 4 million people perished in Auschwitz during WWII. The most precise estimate averages at 1.1 million dead, of which 90% were Jews, along with 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Gypsies and 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war.