Former Auschwitz prisoners mark Holocaust Remembrance Day

President Barack Obama will attend an event at the Israeli embassy.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  Jan. 27, 2016 at 11:22 AM
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OSWIECIM , Poland, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- International Holocaust Remembrance Day was observed Wednesday, with several dozen surviving prisoners returning to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in southern Poland.

"I came to pay tribute to those who did not make it out of here. As long as I have the strength I will continue to come here. Thank God that I survived," said Jadwiga Bogucka, who was a teenager in 1944 when she was taken to Auschwitz from Warsaw.

Many at the ceremonies, who walked through the front gates of Auschwitz on Wednesday wore scarves with blue and white stripes, reminiscent of their prison uniforms. More than 1.1 million people died at the camp during World War II; it was liberated by the Soviet Army on January 27, 1945. The 50th anniversary of the date, in 1995, evoked memories and honors, particularly in Germany, which made the date an official day of remembrance in 1996. In 2005 the United Nations designated the day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

President Barack Obama will visit the Israeli embassy in Washington on Wednesday evening to give an address at the Righteous Among Nations Award Ceremony, an event sponsored by the embassy and by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem's official holocaust memorial. Four people will be posthumously recognized for their involvement in saving European Jews from the Nazis.

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