Pictures of the Week: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Concentration camps.-Star of David made up of Jewish children who survived the concentration camp Buchenwald. akg-images / Walter Limot/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos063367.

In 2005 the UN General Assembly dedicated January 27 as an international remembrance day for the Holocaust. On January 27, 1945, the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Soviet soldiers. Today the anniversary date is a day of remembrance and a way to honor the victims and to prevent future genocides.  UN Secretery-General Ban Ki-moon has dedicated this year’s remembrance day to the 1.5 million Jewish children that died in the Nazi concentration camps, his message about it is worth a read or a watch here. Click through the jump to see more pictures.

The story of the Holocaust is one of the saddest in history. Its one of those things that hearing about just makes me sick with empathy. In an attempt to “purify Germany”, Hitler gave the order to exterminate the “inferior” races. Unfortunately this meant the systematic seeking out and destruction of the Jews. At first it started with making those of the Jewish faith/heritage wear the Star of David somewhere on their clothing. And then pretty soon they were rounded up and sent to various concentration/death camps. In the process some 6 million Jews were exterminated, which is around 63% of the total population in those countries. Chilling statistics.

While it is incredibly sad and a little bit painful to think about this period of history,  it serves as a reminder of the danger of this kind of racial prejudice from a leader in absolute power. It also assures that the memories of the 6 million people who didn’t make it will live on. So while these next pictures may be a little painful to look at, its nothing compared to what these people went through. Today we honor and remember the victims of the Holocaust.

Persecution of the Jews.-Deportation of jews from the administrative districts Minden, Lippe-Detmold and Schaumburg-Lippe: Jews at the railway station of Bielefeld awaiting their deportation.-Photo, 13th December 1941. akg-images/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos042135.

Concentration camps.-Selection of Hungarian Jews on the platform at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.-Photo, June 1944. akg-images/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos042571.

Concentration camps.-Auschwitz concentration camp: Prisoners by the entrance gate.-Photo, 1945. akg-images/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos010560.

Concentration camps. Auschwitz (near Oswiecim, Poland), after its liberation by Soviet troops on 26 January 1945.-Female prisoners in barracks in the camp.-Photo, circa January 1945. akg-images/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos041573.

Concentration Camps.-Prisoners in a barrack in Buchenwald concentration camp; 2nd row from below, 7th fr.left: the Jewish writer Elie Wiesel.-Photo. akg-images/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos042786.

Nazi Period / Concentration Camps. Mauthausen Concentr.Camp (Upper Austria) aft.liberation in 1945 (first units of the US Army and the 11th Armoured Division of the US Army arrived on 5 May).-Emaciated prisoners lying ob the floor.-Photo, 1945. akg-images / RIA Nowosti/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos121555.

Oranienburg (Brandenburg), Sachsenhausen concentration camp. (1936-1945; since 1961 memorial).-Clothes of murdered prisoners.-Photo, 1945. akg-images/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos028075.

Concentration camps. Auschwitz (near Oswiecim, Poland), after liberation by Soviet troops on 26 January 1945:-Members of the Red Cross carry 15yearold Ivan Dudnik out of the concentration camp.-Photo, January 1945. akg-images/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos042639.

Concentration camps. Auschwitz (near Oswiecim, Poland), after its liberation by Soviet troops on 26 January 1945:-Survivors behind a barbed wire fence.-Photo (V.Yudin), circa January 1945. akg-images/Newscom. Find it at Newscom: akgphotos042592.

To see more pictures of the Holocaust for Internation Holocaust Remembrance Day, check out this Newscom lightbox.

Or you can read these other blogs:

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