On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland. The Germans had already fled westward, leaving behind the bodies of prisoners who had been shot and thousands of sick and starving survivors.
Now, 75 years after the liberation, hundreds of survivors from across the world will travel to Auschwitz and other locations to mark the anniversary this week and next week.
More than 1.1 million Jews were killed in Auschwitz and the adjacent Birkenau death camp in gas chambers or from starvation, disease and forced labor in the meticulous Nazi effort to rid Europe of its Jews. Overall, the Holocaust claimed 6 million Jewish lives, wiping out a third of world Jewry.
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The main ceremony will be the World Holocaust Forum today, Jan. 23, in which dozens of world leaders will arrive in Jerusalem for the largest-ever gathering focused on commemorating the genocide and combating modern-day anti-Semitism. Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Prince Charles and the presidents of Germany, Italy and Austria are among the more than 40 dignitaries who will be attending the event.
The events come amid a global spike in violence against Jews and in a climate in which a survey showed that 80% of European Jews said they felt unsafe in the continent.
Here is a photo essay of an Associated Press photographer's recent visit to what's left of the Auschwitz death camp, in 18 haunting images.