Holocaust survivors gathered on Friday in the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of the southern Polish city of Krakow, local media reported.
The ceremony, held under the auspices of Polish President Andrzej Duda, was attended by a group of Auschwitz survivors, as well as senior US officials and US Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, according to state-run news agency PAP.
Addressing the ceremony, Auschwitz suvivor Eva Umlauf stressed that the people who suffered in the camp would never forget what they went through.
At Auschwitz, “it is the human being and humanity that matter,” she said.
Umlauf, born in December 1942 in the Novaky labor camp in Slovakia, was transported to Auschwitz in November 1944.
Zdzislawa Wlodarczyk, another Auschwitz survivor also spoke at the event, saying she was terrified to read reports of what was happening in the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“Russia, which liberated us here, has now been conducting a war against Ukraine. Why? Why does politics look like this?” she said.
Wlodarczyk, born in 1933, was deported to Auschwitz from Warsaw in August 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi regime.
Nazi Germany established the Auschwitz camp in 1940. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was opened two years later and became the main site for the mass murder of Jews.
Until its liberation by the Soviet Army on Jan. 27, 1945, Nazis killed over 1 million people at Auschwitz, mainly Jews, but also Poles, Roma, and Soviet prisoners of war.
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