75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz!

Dear Commons Community,

Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in German occupied Poland. The Germans had already fled, leaving behind the bodies of prisoners who had been shot and thousands of sick and starving survivors.  Soviet troops who led the liberation found gas chambers and crematoria that the Germans had blown up before fleeing in an attempt to hide evidence of their mass killings.

But the genocide was too massive to hide. Today, the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau endures as the leading symbol of the terror of the Holocaust. Its iconic status is such that every year it registers a record number of visitors — 2.3 million last year alone.

Yesterday — 75 years after its liberation — hundreds of survivors from across the world traveled to Auschwitz for official anniversary commemorations. In advance of that, Associated Press photographer Markus Schreiber visited the site. Using a panoramic film camera, he documented the remains of the camp in a series of black and white photos.

Auschwitz today is many things at once: an emblem of evil, a site of historical remembrance and a vast cemetery. It is a place where Jews make pilgrimages to pay tribute to ancestors whose ashes and bones remain part of the earth.


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