Holocaust Memorial Day: The stark figures that lay bare the horror of the Holocaust

Survivors will light candles and lay wreaths at the 'Death Wall' in Block 11 to remember those who were lost

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Thousands of people in Britain are honouring the millions who were killed during the Holocaust, and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of some 200,000 prisoners at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland.

Survivors will light candles and lay wreaths at the 'Death Wall' in Block 11 on 27 January to remember those who were lost.

The infamous entrance to the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau with the lettering 'Arbeit macht frei' ('Work makes you free')

Deaths during the Holocaust

  • Between five and six million Jews
  • More than three million Soviet prisoners of war
  • More than two million Soviet civilians
  • More than one million Polish civilians
  • More than one million Yugoslav civilians
  • Approximately 70,000 men, women and children with mental and physical handicaps
  • More than 200,000 gipsies
  • An unknown numbers of political prisoners, resistance fighters, deportees and homosexuals

  Auschwitz-Birkenau is thought to have been responsible for the murders of up to 1.5 million people during the Holocaust. The camp was established by the Nazis in 1940 and became the largest of its kind.


When Soviet troops liberated around 200,000 prisoners from Auschwitz on 27 January 1945, they found:

  • 836,525 items of women’s clothing
  • 348,820 items of men’s clothing
  • 43,525 pairs of shoes
  • 460 artificial limbs
  • Seven tons of human hair that was shaved from Jewish prisoners before they were murdered

web-auschwitz-2-getty.jpg The former extermination camp is the world’s biggest Jewish cemetery.