70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz


WHEREAS, from 1940 to 1945, Auschwitz was a network of concentration and extermination camps in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany, where more than one million people were murdered, most of whom were Jewish; and

WHEREAS, Auschwitz included three main camps, Auschwitz I,  Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau) and Auschwitz III (Auschwitz-Monowitz), all of which had forced labor, and one that functioned as an extermination camp; and

WHEREAS, in January 1945, as allied forces approached the Auschwitz concentration camp complex, the Schutzstaffel (SS) began evacuating Auschwitz camps, forcing nearly 60,000 prisoners to march 30-35 miles west of Auschwitz in life-threatening conditions; and 

WHEREAS, on January 27, 1945, more than 7,000 prisoners were liberated from Auschwitz by allied forces, most of whom were severely ill or dying; and

WHEREAS, in the decades since its liberation, Auschwitz has become a primary symbol of the Holocaust, serving as a reminder of what Jews and other victims of Nazi concentration camps endured; and

WHEREAS, January 27, 2015, marks the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz; and 

WHEREAS, Virginia joins people around the world in honoring those who lost their lives in the Holocaust;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, do hereby recognize January 27, 2015, as the 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.