January 27th marks Auschwitz Liberation Camp Day and this year commemorates the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Camp in Poland. In preparation for this Memorial Day, on Friday January 22, 2021, St. Margaret College Verdala School, Queen’s Young Leaders group of students together with their teacher, Martin Azzopardi sdc launched a research study project about the atrocities committed in Auschwitz Concentration Camp by the Nazi Regime.
This year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the commemoration of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz will be held online and will highlight the fate of children in the camp.
It is estimated that roughly 232,000 children and young people were deported to Auschwitz, of whom 216,000 were Jews, 11,000 Roma, 3,000 Poles, more than 1,000 Belarusians, and several hundred Russians, Ukrainians, and others. Only approximately 700 were liberated. (See: http://auschwitz.org/en/fate-of-children-in-auschwitz/)
Quoting Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, the director of Auschwitz Museum, ‘Over 200,000 children were murdered in Auschwitz. Completely innocent, good, curious about life, loving their closest ones, trusting children. The adult world – after all, so often unjust and cruel – has never demonstrated so much of its heartlessness, its evil. This cannot be justified by any ideology, reckoning or politics. This year we want to dedicate the anniversary of liberation to the youngest victims of the camp.’ (See: http://auschwitz.org/en/home-page-76/)
Auschwitz Concentration Camp was liberated on the 27th January 1945 by the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front soldiers who brought freedom to the prisoners, victims of the Nazi regime. After the liberation of the city of Krakow by the Russian Red Army, seven thousand prisoners awaited liberation in the Main Camp of Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz. Before and soon after January 27, other 500 prisoners in the Auschwitz sub-camps in Stara Kuźnia, Blachownia Śląska, Świętochłowice, Wesoła, Libiąż, Jawiszowice, and Jaworzno were also liberated.
In the Main Camp of Auschwitz and Birkenau, 600 corpses of prisoners shot by the withdrawing Nazi SS were discovered by Soviet soldiers. Due to lack of registration records, we still do not know exactly how many people were sent to Auschwitz and how many died in the camp. However, it is estimated that 1.3 million people were sent to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945 and about 1.1 million of these people died or were killed at Auschwitz. (See: http://auschwitz.org/en/liberation-of-kl-auschwitz/)
This year’s commemoration will exceptionally not be held at the Memorial and the online broadcast will be available at www.auschwitz.org and 76.auschwitz.org as well as on the Memorial Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.
This project aims to reach five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Reduced Inequalities; Good Health and Well-being; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Quality Education.