Memory, Dignity and Justice
International Holocaust Remembrance Day marked the 77th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camps in Poland by the Soviet Army on January 27, 1945.
Memorials were held in Russia, Israel and the United States.
Two of the many Soviet Rifle Divisions that participated in the Liberation of the camps had many soldiers conscripted from the Archangel Region. For example, Arkady Shestakov from the Primorsky District was a Marksman in the 286th Rifle Division and Mikhail Vasiliev from the Isakogorsky District was a Junior Sergeant in the 100th Rifle Division. Both men performed valiantly as they fought westward deep into German-occupied territory and they each received high decorations for bravery.
Military records in Archangel contain a summary of the battles of the 100th Rifle Division that includes details of the Liberation of Auschwitz - an excerpt of this record can be downloaded below..
We must always pause to remember the Holocaust and honor those who suffered and died as well as those who liberated the camps across occupied lands and into Germany.