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Auschwitz museum: Russia not invited to event marking camp’s liberation by Red Army

WARSAW — The Auschwitz Museum said Wednesday that the war in Ukraine will exclude Russia from an upcoming ceremony marking the 78th anniversary of the Red Army’s liberation of the Nazi death camp.

“Given the aggression against a free and independent Ukraine, representatives of the Russian Federation were not invited to this year’s commemoration,” Piotr Savitsky, a museum representative at the site of the former camp, told AFP.

Friday marks 78 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp built by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland, a date that has become Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Until now, Russia has always taken part in the commemorations held every year on January 27, and its delegate spoke at the main ceremony.

The director of the museum, Pyotr Tsyvinsky, said that it was obvious that under the current conditions he could not “sign a letter to the Russian ambassador in an inviting tone.”

“I hope this will change in the future, but we have a long way to go,” he said, according to the PAP news agency. “Russia will need an extremely long and very deep introspection after this conflict in order to return to the meetings of the civilized world.”

The museum condemned the Russian offensive as a “barbaric act” on the day Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 last year.

Auschwitz-Birkenau became a symbol of Nazi Germany’s genocide of six million European Jews, one million of whom perished in camps between 1940 and 1945, along with over 100,000 non-Jews.

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