Auschwitz Death Camp Liberated 65 Years Ago Today

01.27.10 | FL News Team

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which marks the 65 anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi Auschwitz death camp in Poland. On January 27th, 1945, the Soviet army liberated thousands of people who otherwise were destined for death in the Nazi's gas chambers. Although the Auschwitz death toll varies between half a million and four-million, historians generally agree that more than one-million people were killed at Auschwitz alone. About 90-percent of them were Jews, while the others included Roman Catholics and homosexuals. Hitler's regime operated five additional death camps during World War Two, in what it crassly called "The Final Solution."

 The liberation of Auschwitz is being marked today by ecumenical services and prayers at the site, which is now a Holocaust Memorial and Museum. Two top Israeli officials -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [[ net-an-YAH-hoo ]] and President Shimon Peres [[ sheh-MOAN PEHR-ez ]] -- are visiting Poland and Germany to commemorate the event. Netanyahu has laid a wreath at a Holocaust memorial in Warsaw and will attend ceremonies at Auschwitz today. Peres, whose grandparents were burned alive by the Nazis in a synagogue in Poland, will address the German parliament in Berlin. On Monday, he told interviewers that "the Germans have learned a lesson." He said they want to make amends for their history and while Jews cannot forget, they look forward to the future with Germany.