Friday, January 27, 2012

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Its observance falls on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet army in the waning days of World War II.

Sixty-seven years--two-thirds of a century--have now passed since the Red Army, advancing across Poland, came upon the most infamous of the Nazi concentration camps, a place where between 1.1 million and 1.6 million people were killed.  The few who survived are rapidly disappearing.  In fact, Kazimierz Smolen, an Auschwitz survivor who was director of the museum at Auschwitz-Birkenau from 1955 to 1990, died today at the age of 91.

Henry Appel, another survivor, said, "There is only one thing worse than Auschwitz itself and that is if the world forgets there was such a place."