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The Debate

Auschwitz, 75 years on: Liberation of Nazi death camp remembered


Sometimes the past is too raw to confront. Sometimes the significance fades or changes over time. And when the past is examined, it is always from the perspective of the present day. So what is the meaning of the 75th anniversary commemorations of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp? It was not mob rule or a burst of collective folly. The Final Solution, as the Nazis called it, was a state bureaucracy devoted over years to the methodical extermination of millions of men, women and children - the vast majority of them Jewish.


Who was heroic or demonic? Brave or cowardly? The argument still rages. The latest illustration is the spat between Poland and Russia over the collective behaviour of their respective nations. Seventy-five years on, with identity politics on the rise, how does the past truly inform the present and the future?

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Jimena Morales-Velasco.

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