International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Redakcja / Editorial staff / English translation:Andrew Rajcher, 26th January 2021
Auschwitz, the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp, has become an international symbol. The United Nations has declared 27th January, the day of the camp's liberation, as "International Holocaust Remembrance Day: To mark the occasion this year, we publish the story of Holocaust Survivor Joanna Sobolewska-Pyz (Grynszpan), former Chairperson of the "Children of the Holocaust" Association in Poland. Learn her story and take part in the online commemorations prepared by the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

"If you are indifferent, you will not even notice when some Auschwitz will fall from the heavens upon you and your descandants”, said Marian Turski, Holocaust Survivor, Chairman of the Council of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, during the anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz on 27th January 2020.

Seventy-six years ago, the 60th Army of the 1st Ukrainian Front entered Auschwitz, the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp . In the main camp of Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II (Birkenau) and Auschwitz III (Monowitz) barely 7,000 prisoners were liberated. More than 1.1 million people, coming from almost all German-occupied countries, did not live to see this freedom. The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is commemorated around the world as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, established in 2005 by the United Nations.

Learn the Stories of Jews Who Survived the Holocaust

It is hard to find the words to describe the depth of cruelty which was the Holocaust. Thus, all the more important are the words of those who survived. Every year, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, on our Polish Righteous portal, we present selected Survivor stories from the POLIN Museum collection and we recall the stories behind artefacts from the POLIN MUseum collection.

This year, we present the rescue story of Joanna Sobolewska-Pyz (Grynszpan), former Chairperson of the "Children of the Holocaust" Association in Poland. In November 1942, as a three-year-old little girl, in a basket, she was thrown over the wall of the Warsaw Ghetto thanks to help provided by Stanisław Gombiński, a Jewish Order Service policeman. On the "Aryan side", she initially stayed with Wanda Bruno-Niczowa and then, from May 1943, she was cared for by Walerian andi Anastazja Sobolewski.

» Read: The Story of Joanna Sobolewska-Pyz (Grynszpan)

When she was eighteen-years-old, Joanna, later called Inka, discovered that she was a Jewish child rescued from the Warsaw Ghetto. In 1991, when the "Children of the Holocaust" Association in Poland was established, she became an active member and, between 2012 and 2018, she served as its Chairperson.

Participate in Online Commemorations

In 2021, International Holocaust Remembrance Day will be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant restrictions. In order to maintain the historical memory, the POLIN Museum has prepareda special online program of commemorations. 

Below is what we have prepared for 27th January (Wednesday):

» See more: the POLIN Museum program