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75 Years After Auschwitz Liberation, Survivors Urge World To Remember

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75 yearss after Auschwitz

Alina Dabrowska was 20 years old when she first heard about Auschwitz. She was an inmate at a prison in Nazi-occupied Poland — incarcerated for helping Allied forces — and one day in 1943, while walking the grounds, a new arrival warned her about it.

"She said, 'You're all going to Auschwitz! Do you know what kind of camp that is?' " Dabrowska recalls. "She told us that if someone is out of strength, they were immediately killed. She told us many horrible things. None of us believed her."

Of the estimated 1.3 million people sent to Auschwitz, some 1.1 million died at the camp, including 960,000 Jews. It was the largest extermination camp run by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II. The Soviet army liberated Auschwitz 75 years ago, on Jan. 27, 1945.

Now 96, Dabrowska is among a handful of Auschwitz survivors still alive. For her, the importance of sharing her stories has only grown with time. She raised a family and had a fulfilling career with Poland's foreign ministry, but only in recent years decided to speak publicly about the memories of Auschwitz that still haunt her. She and other survivors fear the world will forget the Holocaust's horrors if their stories are not made public.

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