IAC :: Remember the past, be responsible for the future

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Welcome!

The International Auschwitz Committee was founded by survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The main objective of our work: Auschwitz shall happen never again! Please feel invited to get more information about the IAC and its work.
Since we are currently moving to this new site, the english section will grow – little by little, but steady. Thank you for your patience.

 
Kazimierz Albin was tattooed with prisoner number 118. He escaped from Auschwitz and joined the Polish resistance movement, the largest underground resistance movement in all of occupied Europe (© Boris Buchholz)

80th Anniversary of the First Transport to Auschwitz

“Things can’t get any worse,” thought Kazimierz Albin. But he was mistaken. He was one of the first prisoners in Auschwitz

After the German occupation of Poland, Kasimierz Albin intended joining the Polish Army in France. But he was caught and deported to Auschwitz as one of the concentration camp’s first prisoners. He was tattooed with the number 118. On the prisoners’ first day in Auschwitz SS Hauptsturmscharführer (Captain) Fritsch told them, the only way out for them was through the chimney. But after almost three years in the death camp Kasimierz Albin escaped the industrialized murder of Auschwitz and escaped to join the Polish underground: “I had experienced my 18th, 19th and 20th birthdays in Auschwitz. I’d had enough.” Read more

 
Karl Lehmann and Christoph Heubner honour the memory of the president of the regional council in Kassel, Walter Lübcke, who was murdered by a right-wing extremist on 2 June 2019 (Photo: Michele Deodat)

Remembering Walter Lübcke

On Whit Monday the IAC renamed a Berlin street in memory of the murdered president of the regional council in Kassel

On Whit Monday, Sigismund-Strasse in Berlin-Tiergarten was renamed as Walter-Lübcke-Strasse. The renaming by the International Auschwitz Committee was in memory of the murdered president of the regional council in Kassel by a right-wing extremist. 2 June 2020 marked the first anniversary of his murder. Read more

 
Munich Documentary Film Festival

Munich Documentary Film Festival

"The Euphoria Of Being" with Eva Fahidi is the opening film

For Auschwitz survivors the choice of the opening film of the Munich Documentary Film Festival is regarded as a particularly moving gesture: the multi-award-winning Hungarian film "The Euphoria of Being" by the Hungarian director Réka Szabó depicts the dancing encounter between the Auschwitz survivor Eva Fahidi and her youthful alter ego, the dancer Emese Cuhorka. In this film, the painful experiences and the grim memories of the Auschwitz survivors are expressed and soothed by the tenderness of the dance and movements of these two human beings as they interact ─ an outstanding film providing a deep insight into human creativity and the hope that always lies at its core.
More Information: Read more
Website of the festival: dokfest-muenchen.de

Igor Levit, 2020 © Boris Buchholz

29 April 2020: House concert by Igor Levit

A message to the survivors. Joint action by the pianist Igor Levit and the International Auschwitz Committee

On 12 March the pianist Igor Levit began streaming performances every evening to boost the spirits and relieve the solitude of many people around the world during the Covid-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, these regular house concerts are reaching a remarkably broad public. Now, in cooperation with the International Auschwitz Committee, Igor Levit has decided to make a special gesture of solidarity and encouragement. On Wednesday 29 April, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau concentration camp, he dedicated his house concert to all the survivors of the German concentration and extermination camps, honouring their decades of educational work as witnesses of the times and their intrepid defence of democracy in face of increasing far-right extremist and anti-Semitic hatred. Read more

 
Janek Mandelbaum, Berlin 2015 © Boris Buchholz

Recent statements of survivors of the Holocaust: "One thing I would say today"

"Don’t imagine that you are too intelligent or too modern or too sophisticated to do the unthinkable."

Janek Mandelbaum, born 1927, prisoner in Auschwitz-Blechhammer, number 16013 in Gross-Rosen concentration camp, survivor of other concentration camps, today living in Naples, Florida, USA:

28th of April, 2020: “As I look back on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the Holocaust, I continue to ask myself how it was possible for a sophisticated society of modern, intelligent people to be hypnotized into committing the most barbaric atrocities in human history. As much as we have studied the Holocaust, that question still remains a mystery to me. If there is one thing I would say to the younger generation today it is this: Don’t imagine that you are too intelligent or too modern or too sophisticated to do the unthinkable. That possibility is within all of us and we must constantly guard against it through education and action.”

 
The eleventh commandment © Karl Lehmann

75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

Marian Turski spoke about the eleventh commandment: his speech was heard worldwide

Around 200 Auschwitz survivors attended the memorial ceremony for the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz at the Memorial: their voices were at the centre of attention on this day. Presidents, prime ministers and crowned heads of state from many countries gathered to pay their respects to those who were murdered and to the survivors.



Speakers on behalf of the survivors were Bat-Sheva Dagan from Israel, Elsa Baker from Great Britain and Stanislaw Zalewski from Poland. They all spoke in remembrance of the persecution and suffering of the Jewish families, the Sinti and Roma, the Polish prisoners and all the other people who were tormented and murdered in Auschwitz. But they also described the present-day challenges caused by increasing anti-Semitic and right-wing extremist hatred throughout the world.



Marian Turski, a Jewish-Polish Auschwitz survivor from Warsaw and Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, dedicated his words to the generation of his grandchildren and all young people: In his moving and worldwide quoted speech, he described the path that had led to Auschwitz, and concluded with the ‘Eleventh Commandment’, formulated by Roman Kent, the President of the International Auschwitz Committee: “You should never be a bystander.”

Read Marian Turskis speech: Read more

 
Angela Orosz-Richt / Foto: Eva Oertwig/IAK

75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

Born in Auschwitz: Central Remembrance Ceremony in Berlin

Angela Orosz-Richt was born around 21 December 1944 into the world of Auschwitz. The fate of the children born in the camp was the central issue of the remembrance ceremony staged by the International Auschwitz Committee for the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. The well attended ceremony was held on 23 January 2020 at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin. This event was dedicated to the voices of the survivors and the current confrontation with anti-Semitism and right-wing extremist hatred. Main speaker was Angela Orosz-Richt, we document her extraodinary speech below. Read more

Igor Levit © Boris Buchholz

75th Anniversary of Liberation

IAC honours pianist Igor Levit with the “Gift of Remembrance”

After receiving the Statue B, the pianist Igor Levit declared “I’m not afraid, I’m angry” in his speech of thanks. He asked how it could be possible that this country allows politicians to be forced into resignation by pressure from Neo-Nazis. Shortly before this, in his tribute to the pianist, Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, spoke of Igor Levit as “a mensch in the truest sense”. He said that, as such, Igor Levit stands up “with courage, creativity and a zest for life against anti-Semitism and right-wing extremist hatred, and defends the values of democracy”. Read more

75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

The activities of the IAC – an overview

  • 12 January 2020: Pianist Igor Levit is honoured with the “Gift of Remembrance”. Read more
  • 16 January 2020: Presentation of the website “Searching for Traces – the forgotten sub camps of Auschwitz”.
  • 19 January 2020: The Auschwitz survivor Éva Fahidi speaks at the opening of the new permanent exhibition at the House of the Wannsee Conference.
  • 21 January 2020: In cooperation with the IAC, the city of Wolfsburg invites the public to an evening of artistic performances dedicated to Holocaust Remembrance Day.
  • 22 January 2020: The Auschwitz survivor and IAC Vice President Marian Turski is the main speaker at a UNESCO remembrance ceremony in Paris.
  • 23 January 2020: Central remembrance ceremony in Berlin: “Born in Auschwitz” Read more
  • 27 January 2020: IAC Vice President Marian Turski speaks at the Remembrance Ceremony in Auschwitz-Birkenau


Overview of all activities of the International Auschwitz Committee. Read more

 
 
Demonstration and minute of silence in Berlin © SCHROEWIG/Jörg Heiderich

Demonstration and minute of silence in Berlin

Young people demonstrate against the deadly shootings in Halle

Young VW trainees from Kassel, Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt together with college students from Bielsko-Biała in Poland demonstrated in front of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin against the deadly shootings in Halle. A woman and a man were shot dead close to the synagogue in Halle. Two people suffered gunshot wounds and are hospitalized. On Wednesday (9 October) Jewish people around the world celebrated Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in the Jewish faith. The young people, who placed themselves with protest placards in front of the Holocaust Memorial, are currently taking part in a project organized by the International Auschwitz Committee together with VW after they had already worked together preserving the Auschwitz Memorial:  read more

 

Commemorating the invasion of Poland

Young people from Germany and Poland agree: “We want to do things better”.

On September 1, young people from Wolfsburg, Emden, Osnabrück and Bielsko Biala gathered together with the citizens of Oswiecim in a ceremony to remember the dead and the horrors of the Second World War. The young Polish people told their German counterparts about the systematic destruction during the war and about the terrible effects it had on every family in Poland. The young people from both countries agreed: “We want to do things better.” Read more

 
Kazimierz Albin © Boris Buchholz

On the death of Kazimierz Albin

“He felt it was very important for him to be heard in Germany.”

Auschwitz survivors throughout the world are bidding farewell to their friend and brother, the Polish Auschwitz survivor Kazimierz Albin, who died 22nd of July in Warsaw at the age of 96. Kazimierz Albin belonged to the first transport of prisoners to reach Auschwitz in June 1940. Albin was 17 years old when he received the prisoner number 118 instead of his name on arrival at the death camp. From the very first moment of his imprisonment he was determined not to be overcome by fear and hatred. Instead he would try to alleviate his own fate and that of his fellow prisoners. Read more

Agnes Heller; Foto: Arild Vågen, Wikimedia Commons

On the death of Agnes Heller

We will miss her critical, illuminating mind, especially in these times

Holocaust survivors in Hungary and many other countries are bidding farewell with sorrow and gratitude to their great companion and fellow sufferer, who died July 19th aged 90 years. Agnes Heller experienced the horrors of the Holocaust from both the German and the Hungarian sides. As one of only a few from her family, she managed to escape the deportations and the gas chambers of Auschwitz together with her mother. All of her philosophical work stems from the incisiveness and clarity of these memories. Into her old age, this worldwide respected philosopher was repeatedly subjected to anti-Semitic defamations.  Read more

 
From the left: Prince Charles holding the Statue of Remembrance, Marian Turski (Auschwitz survivor), Michèle Deodat (artist and the statue designer), Hannah Pietsch (VW trainee), Laura Marks (Holocaust Memorial Day Trust) (photo: Paul Burns / IAC)

Ambassador for tolerance and humanity

Statue of Remembrance for Prince Charles

On 10 February 2017, the International Auschwitz Committee awarded Prince Charles the Statue of Remembrance – depicting the letter B. During the ceremony in London, Marian Turski said: “It is the message from the survivors to the world of today, never to give in to the darkness of hatred, but to stand up for the dignity of all people. Knowing that we have the Prince of Wales at our side as an ally is a great honour for us and a signal of hope. Knowing that we have the Prince of Wales at our side as an ally is a great honour for us and a signal of hope.”  Read More

Press conference concerning the Survivors' Bequest © Boris Buchholz

“The Survivors’ Bequest”

Preserve Remembrance – Conserve authentic Places – Assume Responsibility

Ten presidents of organizations of survivors of the holocaust signed a joint statement: the Survivors' Bequest. "We ask young people to carry on our struggle, against Nazi ideology and for a just, peaceful and tolerant world, a world that has no place for ant-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and right-wing extremism."  Read more

 
Roman Kent, President of the International Auschwitz Committee © Boris Buchholz

Roman Kent, Auschwitz Survivor and IAC-President

Nazi Prosecutions: An Unmistakable Warning

How can there be a Statute of Limitations for Nazi crimes against humanity which were of such enormous gravity and those who participated not be brought to justice and pay the price for their terrible crimes no matter how late? No one should conclude that at least the ones who took part in inflicting such unspeakable suffering should be allowed to evade justice merely because of their prolonged success in eluding detection.  Read more