Today, Ukraine honors the memory of those killed and persecuted during the Holocaust, the systematic extermination of the Jews, which was widely perpetrated by the Nazis.
January 27, 1945 is the day when the Soviets released prisoners of the largest Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. By various estimates, the number of the camp’s victims totaled from 1.5 to 4 million people; the actual number remains unknown, since the Nazis never held records of the victims killed in the gas chambers. Besides, a lot of relevant documents were destroyed.
The UN General Assembly officially chose January 27 to be the International Day of Memory of the Holocaust Victims. The respective bill was offered in 2005 by Israel, Canada, Australia, Russia and the United States; over 90 countries became the co-authors of the document.
The word ‘Holocaust’ derives from Greek language; it means ‘the burnt offering’. In the 1940s, the Nazis prosecuted and killed Jews, Soviet POWs, Poles, Gypsies, homosexuals and the critically ill people.
The museum of the Holocaust victims has been operating since 1947 on the Auschwitz-Birkenau’s territory. It was included to the UNESCO World Heritage List.