Exactly 72 years ago, the Red Army entered the doors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, liberating the 7,000 remaining prisoners who were for the most part ill or dying. They had been left behind by the SS, who had forced their nearly 60,000 fellow prisoners to evacuate the camp, in what has become sadly known as Death Marches.
Many lost their lives in this last desperate attempt to escape the Red Army.
On November 2005, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 60/7 to designate 27 January as the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the day upon which every year the world would mark and remember the Holocaust and its victims.
A number of events have been scheduled at an international level to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
In 2017, the International Day of Commemoration will be marked by a number of national and international events.
The exhibition "Bricks, Shoes, Me -Reflections from Auschwitz" will open in Berlin. Organised by the International Auschwitz Committee in cooperation with the Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand and the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oswiecim/Auschwitz, will be opened by Mr. Sigmar Gabriel, the Vice-Chancellor of Germany and Prof. Felix Kolmer, Auschwitz survivor from Prague.
In France, from 25-28 January a national meeting between young “remembrance ambassadors” (on the initiative of the French Holocaust Memorial Sites Network) will be held at the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris, while the flame under the Arc de Triomphe will be reignited by the Union des Déportés d’Auschwitz on the 27th of January at 6 pm.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, has organised a series of initiative across the UK. This year’s theme is “How can life go on?”, which allows to ask audiences to think about what happens after genocide and of our own responsibilities in the wake of such a crime.
In Washington, at 11 a.m. EST, the Holocaust Memorial Museum will host a commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This program will feature remarks from the Honorable Björn Lyrvall, ambassador of Sweden to the United States, and a Holocaust survivor, musical selections with the US Army Band, as well as a candle-lighting ceremony and victims’ names reading. Join live at ushmm.org/watch.
For a detailed list of events, visit the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.