BBC News published haunting drone footage from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp as it stands today, 70 years after it was liberated by Soviet troops.
The camp in Poland is now maintained as a World Heritage Site and is visited by thousands of tourists and survivors every year. Auschwitz was the largest camp established by the Germans during World War II. More than a million people – the vast majority of them Jews – died there between 1940, when it was built, and 1945, when it was liberated by the Soviet army.
This week, some 300 Auschwitz survivors returned for a ceremony to be held under a giant tent, urging the world not to allow a repeat of the crimes of the Holocaust.
“We survivors do not want our past to be our children’s future,” Roman Kent, born in 1929, told the memorial gathering at the death camp’s site in Poland.
It is expected to be the last major anniversary event concentration camp survivors will be able to attend in considerable numbers.
Auschwitz-Birkenau: Drone Footage
- Railway tracks into Auschwitz-Birkenau – Trains filled with victims from throughout occupied Europe arrived at the camp almost every day between 1942 and the summer of 1944.
- Ruins of wooden huts at Birkenau – Birkenau (or Auschwitz II) was erected in 1941 solely as a death camp, the wooden huts are now in ruins with only brick fireplaces and chimneys remaining.
- Entrance to Auschwitz I -The wrought-iron sign over the entrance bears the words Arbeit Macht Frei – “Work sets you free”.
- Auschwitz I – The brick-built buildings were the former cavalry barracks of the Polish Army.
- Courtyard between blocks 10 and 11 at Auschwitz I – Block 11 was called “the Block of Death” by prisoners. Executions took place between Block 10 and Block 11 and posts in the yard were used to string up prisoners by their wrists.