The legacy of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp

After the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp, became a primary symbol of the Holocaust. Timothy D. Snyder, a historian, comments that the reputation and symbolism of Auschwitz can be attributed to the unusual combination of industrial camp complex and killing facility, as well as the camp’s high death toll. As a result, more witnesses have been left behind than in single-purpose death facilities such as Chełmno or Treblinka. United Nations General Assembly declared 27 January, the date of the liberation of Auschwitz, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005.

The first West German chancellor to visit Auschwitz was Helmut Schmidt in November 1977, followed by Helmut Kohl, his successor, in November 1989. On the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Kohl said: ‘’ the darkest and most awful chapter in German history was written at Auschwitz.” The 75th anniversary of the liberation was commemorated in Jerusalem at Yad Vashem in January 2020 where world leaders gathered resulting in the largest ever political gathering of the city. More than 45 heads of state and world leaders gathered in remembrance of the Holocaust. While the presidents of Poland Andrzej Duda and the president of Israel Reuven Rivlin laid wreaths at Auschwitz itself.

Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, and Tadeusz Borowski are maybe the most Notable memoirists of the camp. ‘’If This is a Man’’ by Primo Levi, first published in Italy in 1947, became a classic of Holocaust literature. While Wiesel wrote about his imprisonment in ‘’Night’’ and other works. He also became a prominent spokesman against ethnic violence and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986. Simone Veil, a former camp survivor, was elected President of the European Parliament in 1972 and served as such until 1982. Maximilian Kolbe, a catholic priest who volunteered to die instead of a stranger was named a saint by the Catholic Church. In addition to Kolbe, Edith Stein, a Jewish convert to Catholicism was also named a saint.

Körber Foundation surveyed 2017 finding out that 40 percent of 14-year-olds in Germany did not know what Auschwitz was. A year later, Claims Conference, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and others, recreated a survey in America only to found that 41 percent of adults participating in the survey and 66 percent of millennials also did not know what Auschwitz was. In addition, they found out that 22 percent never heard of the Holocaust. CCn-ComRes found similar results in Europe the same year.

Our trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Leave a Reply

× WhatsApp