PAC Statement on 65th Anniversary of Liberation
of German Concentration Camp at Auschwitz

January 27, 2010: On this day 65 years ago – January 27, 1945 – the German concentration camp at Auschwitz commenced its present status as the monument which compels us never to forget that the most evil crimes of the Holocaust were committed there.

It stood almost entirely vacant on that day. Hitler’s SS guards who operated this factory of pain and death for five and a half long and dreadful years had already abandoned it a week or so earlier.

Their Aryan arrogance and contemptuous hatred had turned to fear and apprehension in face of the approaching Russian Army, which would bring death to them and expose the magnitudes of their wicked crimes.

They did not flee alone, however. Whatever remained of the prisoners they had not yet murdered was forced to leave with them. Their survival was not intended. There still were other camps where the merciless butchery of the prisoners could resume.

The evacuation came to be known as the infamous “Auschwitz Death March.” It is also sometimes referred to as the “Days of the Red Snow,” because of the way the blood of any prisoner the German shot when he faltered or fell along the way would change the color of the pristine snow.

Today, January 27, 2010, the Polish American Congress honors the memory of each and every person who perished in Auschwitz.

Humanity must pass on this awareness and the lessons of the Holocaust. The nations' leaders must be aware that dangerous and false doctrines can still be generated based on ignorance, hatred and bias. We must always be vigilant to prevent such atrocities from occurring again.

We wish also to take a moment to honor the Righteous Among the Nations – exceptional individuals, citizens of Poland and other countries, who in those dark times felt the pain of the persecuted and disregarding the risks to themselves and their families provided them with refuge and shelter.

May the memory of all the victims be blessed; may it live in our hearts and in the hearts of our children for generations to come.

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