German Language Blog

January 27: Commemorating the Holocaust Posted by on Jan 27, 2022 in News

Today is an important day in history. A großer Tag der Trauer (day of great sadness). On this day, 77 years ago, die Rote Armee (Red Army) liberated the Konzentrationslager (concentration camp) Auschwitz-Birkenau. Nothing could have prepared the Russian soldiers for what they found there. They liberated some 7000 ausgehungerte Überlebende (starved survivors), and found unimaginable amounts of remains of one of the most horrific crimes committed against humanity: 600 corpses, 370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 articles of women’s clothing and 7.7 tons of human hair. On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are reminded of the duty to never forget the horrors at this concentration camp and the horrors committed against the more than 6 million people whose lives were lost in the Holocaust, as well as what led to these horrifying events.

Die Vergangenheit darf nie vergessen werden

Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp Holocaust Remembrance Day

Photo by Fadjar Djulizar on Unsplash

The German Parliament, the Bundestag, observed the Remembrance today. Holocaust-Überlebende (Holocaust survivor) Inge Auerbacher spoke in the plenary. She spoke out against antisemitism and said “Die Krankheit des Judenhasses muss geheilt werden” (the disease of hate against Jews must be cured). You can watch her full speech here.

One sentiment that is often brought in connection with Nazism and the World Wars, and in particular the Holocaust, is the sentiment that die Vergangenheit darf nie vergessen werden (the past must never be forgotten). It has become an integral mantra in Germany, in some ways part of German culture, as the guilt of what occurred and the responsibility of preventing this from happening again is felt heavily.

The new Bundeskanzler (Federal Chancellor) Olaf Scholz and Bundespräsident (Federal President) Frank-Walter Steinmeier laid down Kränze (wreaths) for the

Under the hashtag #Auschwitz77, information about what happened, testimonials and commemorations are shared from across the world.

I hope you can find peace today on this Remembrance Day. It’s a reminder that these crimes happened, and can always happen again. And also that such crimes can happen in darkness, so we always have to stay vigilant.

The commemoration event for the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the camp organized by the Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau is at 4 pm CET, and you can follow it live here:

If you would like to read more about the day from German news outlets, here are some resources:

BR – Holocaust-Gedenktag: Erinnern und verändern

NDR – Gedenktag: Niedersachsen erinnert an den Holocaust

NDR – Auschwitz: “Das Schrecklichste, was ich je sah”

Europäisches Parlament – Internationaler Holocaust-Gedenktag: Feierliche Sitzung im Europaparlament

Deutschlandfunk – „Die größte Gefahr kommt von den Nazis“

Zeit Online – Scholz warnt vor Verfälschung des Holocaustgedenkens durch Impfgegner

RBB InfoRadio – Holocaust-Gedenktag: An die industrielle Vernichtung erinnern

Tagesschau – Erinnerung an NS-Verbrechen wachhalten

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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.