Dakota Midday: 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation

Jan 27, 2015

On January 27th, 1945, the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland was liberated by Soviet troops. Some 1.1 million people were killed there between 1940 and 1945. More people died at Auschwitz than at any other Nazi concentration camp. Soviet soldiers found about 7 thousand starving prisoners alive in the camp.

Liberation by Soviet soldiers of some of the surviving prisoners of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945. Above the gate of the camp is the slogan “Arbeit macht frei” – “Work makes you free”.

About 300 survivors returned to the site for ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary. Most were children at the time of the liberation, but are now elderly and this may be the last significant Auschwitz remembrance of their lifetimes.

Stephen Gaies, director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at the University of Northern Iowa, and Patrick Hicks, author of the Holocaust novel, The Commandant of Lubizec, joined Dakota Midday for a discussion of Auschwitz.