Soldiers are seen during the Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration service at the Ghetto Heroes Monument in Warsaw, Poland, Jan. 27, 2019. This Sunday marks the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in which over 1.1 million people were exterminated during the Nazi occupation of Poland. In 2005, the UN General Assembly designated January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.(Xinhua/Jaap Arriens)
WARSAW, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Commemorative events marking the 74th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp liberation were held in Oswiecim, southern Poland on Sunday, with the participation of state representatives and former prisoners.
In his speech, Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said that the Polish state was guarding the truth, which cannot be relativized in any way.
"We must look straight into the eyes, so that this terrible, cruel death, which would affect all those imprisoned here and in other (Nazi) German extermination camps, that they would not die again", Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki added.
Former prisoners of Auschwitz have placed flowers at an execution wall. The survivors wore striped scarves that recalled their uniforms, some with the red letter "P," the symbol the Nazis used to mark them as Poles.
The key commemorations were held at the central sauna, where prisoners were stripped of clothes and had numbers tattooed on their arms. Some survivors shared their testimonies and experiences.
Leon Weintraub, one of the former prisoners of the camp, emphasized the fact that hostility towards other inevitably led to dangerous ideologies such as Nazism, racism or antisemitism.
Director of the Auschwitz Museum, Piotr Cywinski said that "hate words poison the imagination and numb the conscience ... hate words create hate." He also warned against dehumanizing others by using certain words.
The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940, initially for the imprisonment of Poles. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was established two years later. At least 1.1 million people were killed at Auschwitz, including Poles, Romanians, Soviet captives and others.
The camp was liberated on Jan. 27, 1945 and declared a national memorial site in 1947.