Delegations confirm attendance at Auschwitz liberation anniversary

In 1947 the camp was declared a national memorial site. Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Fifty-one delegations representing countries and international organisations have confirmed their attendance at January 27 observations of the 75th liberation anniversary of the Nazi-German Auschwitz death camp in southern Poland.

The observations, to be hosted by Polish President Andrzej Duda, will take place on the Auschwitz site, today a memorial to the camp's victims.

The Auschwitz Museum, located on the camp's site, announced on Saturday that attendance at the ceremony was confirmed by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenski and General Governor of Canada Julie Payette. The US will be represented by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

On Friday, participation in the event was also confirmed by Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, the prime ministers of Romania and Moldova, Ludovic Orban and Ion Chicu, and UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay. Also present will be Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

Delegations will also sent by Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Georgia, Spain, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, the Vatican, Hungary and Britain.

Also represented will be the European Council, the Council of Europe, the UN and its agency UNESCO.

The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940, initially for the imprisonment of Poles. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was opened two years later and became the main site for the mass extermination of Jews. There was also a network of sub-camps in the complex. The Germans killed at least 1.1 million people at Auschwitz, mainly Jews, but also Poles, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war.

In 1947 the camp was declared a national memorial site.