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"Only unity can save the world from new suffering"

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

TVN24 News in English, Reuters
TVN24Survivors commemorate Auschwitz liberation with wreaths at execution wall

The presidents of Poland and Ukraine called on Monday (January 27) for greater global efforts to combat anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia as the world marked 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp amid concerns over a resurgence of anti-Jewish prejudice.

"Poland and the Polish people were the first who experienced the results of the plot of the totalitarian regimes. It led to the start of World War Two and led the Nazis to start a deadly machine of the Holocaust. Today all the democratic countries have to unite their efforts. Europe and the world don't have the right today to keep silent, as it was in 1939," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told reporters during a news conference.

He added that "Europe and the entire world don't have the right to be indifferent and passive. Only the unity of the world can reject any kind of aggression and save the world from new suffering."

"Today we commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, and we swear that it will never ever happen again. As responsible democratic states, we say no to the totalitarian ideologies, no to xenophobia and aggression, no to any attempts of repression, hatred or intolerance," the President of Ukraine said.

Polish President Andrzej Duda reminded that "the soldiers of the Ukrainian Front of the Red Army liberated seven thousand surviving prisoners of this terrible place, people who went through unimaginable agony and suffering and thanks to the determination and heroism of these soldiers, many of them were saved and survived."

"(We appeal) so that it (the Holocaust) never happens again in the history of the world. Our presence here today is a visible objection to the cruelty, hatred, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, all these which today's world should fight decisively," President Duda said.

75 years later

Survivors from Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp returned to Auschwitz on Monday (January 27) to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation.

In an emotional ceremony, the elderly survivors placed wreaths against the wall inside the camp where many executions were carried out during World War Two.

World leaders will join the aging Holocaust survivors in a memorial service later on Monday to mark 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet troops, amid concerns over a global resurgence of anti-Semitism.

More than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, perished in the camp's gas chambers or from starvation, cold and disease.

Set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland in 1940, at first to house Polish political prisoners, it became the largest of the extermination centres where Adolf Hitler's plan to kill all Jews - the "Final Solution" - was put into practice.

Walentyna Nikodem. "Women would drown in feces. Some of them were so weak that it was impossible to take them out""They told us to strip naked and rushed us behind this male 'lagier' (male section of the camp). It was horrible. All women, those 80-year-old and 15-year-old children. There were those barbers who would remove all hair from our bodies. Such humiliation, such cries, such screams. I started to cry. It was other prisoners who did the haircuts and one of them said: "Don’t cry child, let tchem be ashamed of what they are doing"", said Walentyna Nikodem in conversation with Magda Łucyan, a reporter from "Fakty" TVN. tvn24

Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters