Auschwitz Liberation Anniversary Moved Online Due to Coronavirus

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Holocaust survivors walking through the gates at Auschwitz in 2016.
Holocaust survivors walking through the gates at Auschwitz in 2016. Credit: Czarek Sokolowski/AP

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau will be held online rather than as usual at the site of the former camp, the Auschwitz Museum announced on Tuesday.

The commemorative events, to be held on the January 27 anniversary, will be broadcast on the museum's website, YouTube and via social media.

The main theme of the 76th anniversary of the liberation will be the fate of children in Auschwitz, the museum said.

"Over 200,000 children were murdered in Auschwitz. Completely innocent, good, curious about life, loving their closest ones, trusting children ... This cannot be justified by any ideology, reckoning or politics. This year we want to dedicate the anniversary of liberation to the youngest victims of the camp," said Piotr Cywinski, the director of the museum.

The museum estimates that at least 232,000 children, most of them Jewish, were deported to Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland. Over 700 were liberated in the camp in January 1945.

Last January, over 200 survivors of the camp as well as delegations from over 50 countries and international organizations marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation at the site of the former death camp, which became a grim symbol of the Holocaust.

Of the estimated 1.3 million deportees to Auschwitz, some 1.1 million people, including around 1 million Jews, are estimated to have perished there.

Around 900,000 Jews were murdered in gas chambers immediately upon arrival at the camp. Additionally, around half of the 400,000 prisoners registered in the camp perished.

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