President Vella to attend 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

President George Vella and a Maltese delegation will be in attendance for the commemoration of 75 years since the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp liberation, in Poland.

The event will take place at the site of the former camp on 27th January. A special tent will be erected above the Gate of Death of the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp.

Over 200 former Auschwitz prisoners and Holocaust survivors from all around the world will be present. They will be delivering the main speeches during the commemoration event. Their words will be heard by official delegations from more than 50 countries of the world, as well as representatives of international institutions, social organizations, clergy, employees of museums and memorial sites devoted to this subject.

“Final Solution to the Jewish Question”

Auschwitz-Birkenau was a major site of the Nazis’ Final Solution to the Jewish Question – the code name used to refer to the murder of all Jews within reach.

The concentration camp was a complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II. The camp at Auschwitz was established in 1940, as a quarantine camp for Polish political prisoners.

The first gassing of a group of Soviet prisoners of war occurred in 1941. This was followed up freight trains bringing in thousands of Jews from occupied Europe in 1942. These freight trains took them to the extermination camps in Poland, amongst them Auschwitz. Most were gassed on arrival.  

Removal of signs of the crimes

Witness accounts on the concentration camp’s website detail that the Nazis attempted to hide the atrocities that occurred at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Załmen Gradowski, a prisoner, wrote notes that were later dug up on the grounds of Crematorium III:

 “Lately, they have started clearing away the traces, and wherever there were a lot of ashes, they have ordered them to be ground fine, taken to the Vistula, and released with the current. We have dug up a lot of graves, but there are still two open graves on the grounds of the second and third crematoria. Several graves are still full of ash… A vast amount of ash from hundreds of thousands of Jews, Russians, and Poles is scattered and plowed into the grounds of the crematoria…”

President Vella’s visit

President Vella’s visit to Poland will also lead to meetings with Krakow’s Archbishop, Marek Jedraszewski, and its Mayor, Jacek Majchrowski. He will also address students at the Jagiellonian University, as well as meet the highest officials at said University.

Dolores Cristina will serve as Acting President in his absence.