Holocaust Survivors Warn of Rising Anti-Semitism on Remembrance Day
This year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp liberation.
This year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day also marks the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp liberation—but survivors were quick to caution that anti-Semitism has been rising worldwide in recent years.
About 200 survivors gathered in recognition of the anniversary at the entrance of the concentration camp, where more than 1.1 million people were brought in by cattle cars. After speeches and prayers, the crowd marched to place candles at a memorial for the camp’s victims, the Associated Press reported.
During the observance, World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder said that at the end of World War II, “the world finally saw pictures of gas chambers, nobody in their right mind wanted to be associated with the Nazis.”
“But now I see something I never thought I would see in my lifetime,” he continued, “the open and brazen spread of anti-Jewish hatred.”
Auschwitz, which was located in Nazi-occupied Poland, was liberated by the Soviet army on January 27, 1945. The Registry of Holocaust Survivors counts more than 195,000 remaining survivors and family members, and defines survivors as any persons, Jewish or non-Jewish, who were displaced, persecuted, or discriminated against due to the racial, religious, ethnic, and political policies of the Nazis and their allies between 1933 and 1945.
Several prominent attacks of anti-Semitism have over the past few years, including Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in 2018 that killed 11 people and wounded six. France, which is home to the largest Jewish community in Europe, has seen a spike in anti-Semitic attacks in recent years.