World remembers liberation of Auschwitz camp

Survivors and dignitaries mark the 63rd anniversary of the fall of the infamous death camp.

Auschwitz ceremony 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Auschwitz ceremony 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Auschwitz survivors gathered with dignitaries at the former German death camp on Sunday to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of its liberation, Polish media reported. In a ceremony near the rubble of the gas chambers, a representative of Polish President Lech Kaczynski said the world should remember those who saved the lives of others during the six years of World War II, including Poles who risked their lives to save Jews. "Let remembrance of this serve as a shield that will protect us and generations to come against resentment, hate, aggression, racism and anti-Semitism," said Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka. A delegation of Knesset members headed by MK Colette Avital also attended the ceremony. "Only those who come here can begin to fathom the monstrous scope of the Holocaust," Avital said. There have also been commemorations over the past days in neighboring Germany to remember Holocaust victims, with political and religious leaders acknowledging their nation's unique duty to fight anti-Semitism and racism. In a statement Saturday, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the Holocaust would be "always an indelible part of our history" requiring special responsibility. A leading German Lutheran leader, Bishop Wolfgang Huber, also said that Germans must "keep renewing the memory of this time." Auschwitz, the death camp set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland, was liberated Jan. 27, 1945 by the advancing Soviet army. The anniversary has been established as an annual Holocaust remembrance day by the United Nations.