The concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau near Oświęcim, Poland, has become a permanent symbol of the holocaust and crimes of huge dimensions committed by Hitler’s Germany. The largest Nazi death factory was established in Spring 1940. Here and in the adjacent camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Nazis killed approximately 1.1 million people between 1940 and 1945.
27 January 1945 was the day when Soviet soldiers, members of the 60th army of the 1st Ukrainian front entered the camp. It was Saturday, about 3 p.m. They were shortly followed by film crews and the whole world could see the unbelievable suffering and the truth about the death camp with own eyes.
Based on a suggestion of Israel, USA, Russia and Canada, the General Assembly of the United Nations established 27 January as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The City Cultural Centre remembered the historically significant and tragic events by a commemorative evening. The event took place in the premises in Levice Synagogue on Thursday 27 January 2022. The invitation was accepted by Mgr. Marta Švoliková who had a lecture named: Train to Eternity. Deportations from Levice. We had an opportunity to listen to stories of several Jewish families from Levice, our fellow citizens. Mr. Matúš Zelieska, chairman of the civic association Geniza, spoke about the cultural and intellectual life of Jews in our town: Last two decades – Levice Kehila in the inter-war and pre-war periods. The last lecturer, Mgr. Petr Mészároš had a lecture where he clarified the facts from the camp liberation: Liberation of Auschwitz. The atmosphere of the evening was enhanced by performances of artists from Levice, Peťko Daru, a young promising pianist, Elia Kačiová, a jazz singer, musician, educator, Ondrej Krajňák, one of the best Slovak pianists, jazz artists, and Veronika Mészárošová, a student of the Academy of Performing Arts, an excellent reciter.
We believe we honoured the memory of all victims of the holocaust: Jews, Romani, Sinti and other Roma ethnics, political prisoners, Red Army soldiers, people who sacrifices themselves for the persecuted, victims from sexual minorities, people with a physical or mental handicap, Christians of all denominations in a dignified manner. We believe that we can contribute to a higher tolerance among people and to prevent the raising xenophobia and racism also with such events.