SURVIVORS of the Holocaust are expected to attend an event today (January 27) to mark the 70th anniversary of the day that Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz camp.
About 300 survivors will be joined by world leaders to remember the 1.1 million people killed by Nazis at the site, and millions of others who also died during the war.
As all survivors are now aged 70 and older, this could well be the last major commemoration large numbers are able to attend.
One Auschwitz survivor, aged 88, said the Holocaust was almost impossible for a human mind to comprehend and that he prayed that human beings were able to learn something from it.
Speaking to survivors in Krakow the day before the commemoration, Steven Spielberg (director of the film Schindler’s List) warned of radical extremists and religious fanatics that are currently trying to encourage hate crimes.
Referring to recent events during which four Jews were killed at a kosher supermarket in Paris, Spielberg said: “If you are a Jew today – in fact, if you are any person who believes in the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom in free expression – you know that like many other groups, we are once again facing the perennial demons of intolerance.”
Nazis killed about 11 million people during the Holocaust, mostly Jews but also gypsies, homosexuals and communists.