January 27th is the anniversary of a very profound day in our human history – the day of the liberation of the men and women who were confined at the concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. If any day in our recent history should be remembered with gratitude, it is this day. As we know, there were six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazi persecution.
How many people were sent to the camp, and how many lost their lives in this horrible time period? Records tell us that from 1940 to 1945 at least 1.3 million people were forced into the Auschwitz concentration camp and 1.1 million lost their lives. This crime took the lives of 960,000 Jews, 74,000 Non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war and 15,000 other nationalities.
How were the survivors liberated on this day? We will take our answer from the Memorial and Museum website, linked [HERE].
“Soldiers of the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front opened the gates of Auschwitz Concentration Camp on January 27, 1945. The prisoners greeted them as authentic liberators. It was a paradox of history that soldiers formally representing Stalinist totalitarianism brought freedom to the prisoners of Nazi totalitarianism.
“The Red Army obtained detailed information about Auschwitz only after the liberation of Cracow, and was therefore unable to reach the gates of Auschwitz before January 27, 1945.
“About 7 thousand prisoners awaited liberation in the Main Camp, Birkenau, and Monowitz. Before and soon after January 27, Soviet soldiers liberated about 500 prisoners in the Auschwitz sub-camps.
“Over 230 Soviet soldiers, including the commander of the 472nd regiment, Col. Siemen Lvovich Besprozvanny, died in combat while liberating the Main Camp, Birkenau, Monowitz, and the city of Oświęcim. The majority of them are buried at the municipal cemetery in Oświęcim.
“In the Main Camp and Birkenau, Soviet soldiers discovered the corpses of about 600 prisoners who had been shot by the withdrawing SS or who had succumbed to exhaustion.”
Lessons Can Be Learned
What could we learn from this chapter in human history? Looking back, we can see a great deal of growth in our realization that we, human beings, are NOT unalike! How is the human being persuaded to hate, to enslave, to destroy? Have we reached a time in our evolution where we can no longer be poisoned in spirit against one another? One can see progress, and perhaps the light of awareness – this is my brother, this is my sister, this is my Self. We are growing, and that is encouraging.
Every human being is deserving of 100% respect, no matter the skin color, no matter the religious practices, no matter the sex or sexual preference, no matter the level of education, and no matter the history. We are one Humanity.
The following lessons from history are listed on the aish.com website and they provide very good guidance as we remember the liberation of Auschwitz on this day.
Lesson 1: The Importance of Holocaust Remembrance – The Responsibility of Memory
Lesson 2: The Danger of State-Sanctioned Incitement to Hatred and Genocide — The Responsibility to Prevent
Lesson 3: The Danger of Silence, The Consequences of Indifference — The Responsibility to Protect
Lesson 4: Combating Mass Atrocity and the Culture of Impunity — The Responsibility to Bring War Criminals to Justice
Lesson 5: The Trahison des Clercs — The Responsibility to Talk Truth to Power
Lesson 6: Holocaust Remembrance — The Responsibility to Educate
Lesson 7: The Vulnerability of the Powerless — The Protection of the Vulnerable as the Test of a Just Society
Integrity and B Corporations
We Are Responsible for our world and the evolution of our society. And yes, we have a responsibility to prevent and a responsibility to protect. We must have the courage to talk truth to power, and we must protect the vulnerable.
There are so many wrongs of the past that society has worked to repair and change, and this is the aim and goal of the B Corporation. Can business put people before profit? At AMS Fulfillment the answer is yes – we can put people before profit and still be a very successful business.
Can corporations take a position of responsibility? The answer is absolutely YES. “Be the change you wish to see in the world” is a phrase we use, and it is meaningful to all of us at AMS Fulfillment. We are grateful to be able to educate and commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. May such an atrocity never happen again in our shared world.
For the full story of the liberation, we invite you to visit this [LINK].