Seventy-five years have passed since Auschwitz-Birkenau, a World War 2 extermination camp, was liberated.
World leaders and over two hundred Holocaust survivors gathered in southern Poland, at the site of the camp to commemorate the anniversary.
“Auschwitz was the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps and extermination centers. Over 1.1 million men, women, and children lost their lives here,” according to the Auschwitz-Birke memorial site.
The 75th anniversary wasn’t just a momentous day for survivors, it was for relatives and friends, too.
“I watched the 75th-anniversary ceremony broadcasted on the television, it was wonderful and heartbreaking all at once,” Naomi Cooper, a young relative of a Holocaust survivor explained in an email.
Cooper’s late great grandmother was one of many liberated from Auschwitz.
“I loved my Savah [grandmother] so much, even though I was so young when she passed. I’m grateful for the liberation because it resulted in her meeting my Sabba, my great grandfather. If my Savah hadn’t been liberated, then I would not have been born,” Cooper wrote.
It’s important to remember the Holocaust and the 27th of January, 1945. We should remember those who lost their lives and those who never recovered. We should also remember the 1.1 million Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners and the 230 Soviet soldiers who fell liberating them.