Today, January 27, 2015, marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz during World War II.
Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps, was liberated and evacuated by Allied Forces on January 27, 1945. Thanks to the efforts of the 100th and 322nd divisions of the Red Army, around 7,500 prisoners of the Auschwitz camp areas were freed. 500 were children.
It is approximated that 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed at Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945. 1.1 million people were killed in 5 years, including Roma, the disabled, and homosexuals.
70 years later, the same people—people from minority groups, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community—continue to face insults, threats, and violence. Until every person joins in universal condemnation of these “unbearable” acts of hatred, until our “disgrace” is permanently ended, we must not forget the atrocities of our history.*
*French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, respectively, as quoted by the BBC News, 27 January 2015: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30996555.