Russia excluded from Auschwitz liberation commemorations

The “liberators” of Auschwitz are not invited to the anniversary of the infamous nazi concentration camp. “In view of the aggression against a free and independent Ukraine, the representatives of the Russian Federation have not been invited to participate in the commemoration of the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz this year” which is to take place this Friday, said Piotr Sawicki, spokesman for the museum.

So far, Russia has always participated in the ceremonies held annually on January 27, with its representative speaking at the main ceremony. According to the Polish director of the museum, Piotr Cywinski, it was obvious that he could not “sign any letter to the Russian ambassador in the tone of an invitation”, in the context of the conflict.

“I hope that will change in the future, but we have a long way to go. (…) Russia will need an extremely long time and a very deep introspection after this conflict to return to the living rooms of the civilized world”, he also declared, quoted by the PAP agency.

On the day Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the museum called the Russian attack an “act of barbarism.” “This act of barbarism will be judged by history, and its authors – it is to be hoped – by the International Court of Justice”, had indicated the museum on Twitter.

Built in occupied Poland, Auschwitz-Birkenau is the symbol of the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany against six million European Jews, one million of whom died in the camp between 1940 and 1945, with more than 100,000 non- Jews.

This camp, where some 80,000 non-Jewish Poles, 25,000 Roma and 20,000 Soviet soldiers also died, was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945.

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