Today, January 27, 2015, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. My friend Henry Zguda survived nearly a year in Auschwitz. A friend saved his life by getting him a job in the kitchen. He wore the red triangle of a political prisoner, with a “P” in the middle for “Polen/Polish.” Here are five things to remember about Auschwitz-Birkenau.
In the category of odd kitsch, a piece of Krakow charm has been turned into a free phone app. Download “Play the Bugle Call” and you too can blow into your phone like a trumpet and sound the famous bugle call. It’s one of the sillier, weirder apps I’ve seen.
January 27, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz. In 1945, Russian troops reached Auschwitz and “liberated” the camp abandoned by the fleeing Nazis. Though many world leaders and delegations will assemble in unity, Vladimir Putin has not been invited and will not attend. The omission of an invitation seems wholly justified at this time but is no reason to forget the approximately 15,000 Soviet POWs who died there.
There’s a new must-read on my book shelf. Greg Archer’s Grace Revealed: a memoir came out in print on January 11, 2015. In it the entertainment author goes back to his Polish roots to examine an under-reported tragedy of the 20th century. Jozef Stalin ordered the mass deportation of over TWO MILLION Poles to Siberian Gulags.