Sixty-six years ago Auschwitz stopped functioning. This is commemorated around the world as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The biggest extermination camp of Nazi Germany’s Third Reich was in annexed south-western Poland. Ninety percent of its victims were Jews.
The advancing Red Army of the Soviet Union arrived on January 27, 1945. The Soviets found a few thousand prisoners left, in a camp that had been partly destroyed by the retreating Germans.
The survivors and the material evidence pointed to the mass murder that had taken place in Auschwitz. Though warehouses had been burnt, the gas chambers still stand to this day.
Adolf Hitler called the industrialised attempt to exterminate all the Jews of Europe “the final solution”.
Israel’s official memorial to the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, at Auschwitz and elsewhere, is a 180,000 m2 complex called Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem.