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Jan. 28, 2005

60th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation remembered

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been gathered from various news sources.

Thursday, Jan. 27 marked the 60–year anniversary of the Soviet liberation of Auschwitz, the deadliest and most notorious Nazi death camp, where an estimated 1.5 million people were executed between 1940-45, the vast majority of them Jews.

According to the Associated Press and other reports, 44 world leaders, including Vice President Dick Cheney, gathered at the site of the camp in southern Poland to pay their respects for those who died in the Holocaust.

At a commemoration ceremony in Krakow, Poland, 40 miles away, Cheney said that the anniversary is a reminder "that evil is real and must be called by its name and confronted,” according to the Associated Press.

More than 11 million people, including 6 million Jews, died at the hands of the Nazi Protection Force, known as the "SS,” between 1939 and 1945. Auschwitz was the largest and most violent extermination camp. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum stated that nearly 90% of those who were deported to Auschwitz died there. Ninety percent of all Polish and German Jews died during the Holocaust.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops finally broke through southern Poland and freed the remaining prisoners from Auschwitz. Prior to the liberation, the SS forced tens of thousands of men, women and children to march from the camp, having heard that the Allied forces were closing in on the camp. It is believed that around 15,000 died during the brutal march.

At the ceremony held at Auschwitz this morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "We will never stop asking ourselves over and over again the same question: How could this ever have happened?"

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  • Shyam (View Email) on January 28, 2005 at 10:35 AM
    Do we know the answers to the following questions regarding peace.

    What happens to the overall psychology of people, if one popular community spends over 50-100 years across multiple generations believing deep-down that they have been bad victims of something really-bad, & what-if the whole rest of the world empathised with it. Has this resulted in a more peaceful world?

    Or does this result in competition from other communities to project themselves as EVEN BIGGER victims than the one the world has ever known. Are the presence of multiple communities projecting & competiting themselves as the greatest-victims of something really-bad, good for the peace of the world. Do we know?

  • Sparky on January 28, 2005 at 12:28 PM
    there's no such thing as "Soviet lieration"
  • Jay (View Email) on January 28, 2005 at 5:45 PM
    Yeah I was at Auschwitz over the summer, its amazing the whole size of the thing, but i was really disturbed about how commercialised and touristy it had become. Dont think Putin was the right person to have speak though.
  • Anonymous on January 29, 2005 at 7:58 PM
    my question is why is this such "big news?" i don't want to lower the status of the genocide there, but frankly the amount of people killed there pales in comparison to other events that have happened throughout history, and even recently. pol pot and khmer rouge, millions were killed yet nothing is done to honor the death of the millions there. they were completely disrespected when they were murdered, they were hung from trees and strung up all over the country by the murderous dictator, yet i bet most americans don't even know this happened.
  • thomas on January 30, 2005 at 2:04 PM
    did you read the article above? more than a million people (1.5 million) died at auschwitz - that number does not "plae in comparison" to anything.
  • Dicks-respectful Cheney on January 30, 2005 at 2:37 PM
    Did anyone see what the veep was wearing? Dick "Mr. Respectful" Cheney wore a vomit green parka and some handout skicap that read "Staff 2001" that he probably got at some Halliburton retreat. He looked like he was getting ready for a hunting trip at one of the most humbling, somber places on earth.
  • Isamu Bae on January 30, 2005 at 4:55 PM
    It still brings to question why so many other genocides are ignored. I don't care how many were killed, they're still genocides.

    13,000,000 people were killed by Josef Stalin.
    11,000,000 people were killed by Mao Tze Dong.
    5,000,000 people were killed by Hideki Tojo.
    1,700,000 people were killed in Pol Pot.
    1,500,000 people were killed in Menghitsu.
    1,200,000 people were killed in Ismail River.
    1,000,000 people were killed in both Algeria (by Charles DeGaulle) and Biafra by Yakubu Gowon.
  • Anonymous on January 31, 2005 at 10:14 AM
    "13,000,000 people were killed by Josef Stalin.
    11,000,000 people were killed by Mao Tze Dong.
    5,000,000 people were killed by Hideki Tojo.
    1,700,000 people were killed in Pol Pot. "

    thanks isamu, as you can see, 1.5 million does pale in comparison to some of these numbers. i bet the average american doesn't even know that 11 million people were slaugtered by Mao. there is no commeration of this, no tributes being paid to the people who lost their lives. some of these events are still a lot more recent, and many people live with the scars from these (like Pol Pot). many immigrants to the US fled their home country to escape these genocides. i'm just saying its unfair to pay so much attention to one event, when so many things go unnoticed.
  • charlie (View Email) on December 7, 2006 at 2:33 PM
    This is a movig story about Auschwitz. Babies didn't even have a chance to live. I can't image the picture in my mind of that stuff
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