Expatica news

Auschwitz: ‘this should never be repeated, ever’

27 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — World leaders listened on Thursday as the 92-year-old commander of the Soviet troops who liberated the Nazi death camp Auschwitz that the evil of the Holocaust must never be repeated.

“I would like to say to all the people on the earth — unite and do not permit this evil that was committed … This should never be repeated, ever,” Anatoly Shapiro said in a recorded message.

The video was played at the Holocaust forum in Krakow’s Slovacki theatre prior to the main events to mark the 60th anniversary of the capture of the Auschwitz camp in Poland.

Shapiro was the major of the Soviet unit that entered the camp on 27 January 1945. He lives in New York and was too ill to travel to Poland for the ceremony.

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski awarded medals to three other veterans who could attend. Some 2,000 camp survivors and dozens of world leaders also attended the ceremony.

It is estimated that 1.1 million European Jews were killed in the gas chambers or were worked to death at the complex of camps at Auschwitz during World War II.

At least 6 million Jews and people from other groups singled out by the Nazis perished at Auschwitz and other death camps during the Holocaust.

In terms of its population, the Netherlands was particularly hard hit by the genocide. Of the 140,000 Jews in the country when the Nazis invaded in 1940, 102,000 were murdered in the death camps, 55,000 of them at Auschwitz.

This was partly due to the fact the good public records system in the Netherlands made it easy for the Nazis to identify the Jewish members of the population. The co-operation of many in the police and officialdom also made the Nazis’ task easier.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende were among the leaders of more than 40 nations who attended the special commemoration at Auschwitz on Thursday.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news, Auschwitz