Seventy-five years have passed since the liberation of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau and the town of Oświęcim. Soviet soldiers crossed the borders of the town and the gates of the German concentration camp on 27th January 1945.
Approximately 7,000 prisoners – men, women and children- were liberated from the camp. The Germans had led over 50,000 prisoners from KL Auschwitz and subcamps out in columns of evacuees several days earlier.
The main memorial ceremony took place on 27th January at the gates of KL Birkenau.
The photographs used in the following film come from the Remembrance Museum of the Land of Oświęcim Residents collections. Among them are photographs belonging to Mr. Łukasz Szymański, Mr. Tadeusz Firczyk and Mrs. Ewa Stawowczyk.
Text in the film:
The arrival of the Germans in the Land of Oświęcim in September 1939 brought with it a new and terrifying reality.
Schools were closed, new documents were introduced. However, the worst was still to come.
The creation of the Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau had terrible consequences for the local population. Mass evictions of people in Germany and Lower Silesia, displacements and confiscation of property took a terrible toll on the local people.
After six years, the longed-for freedom arrived. Local residents recall the liberation as a process rather than just a day. Battles were still taking place and people were still at risk of being killed.
“When a flame seems to be going out, trust the little spark of hope.”
The photographs used in the film come from the Remembrance Museum of the Land of Oświęcim Residents collections. Among them are photographs belonging to Mr. Łukasz Szymański, Mr. Tadeusz Firczyk and Mrs. Ewa Stawowczyk.