The Latest: Far-right Poles protest Auschwitz commemorations

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Latest on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (all times local):

10:30 p.m.

A far-right Polish activist is gathering with other nationalists outside the former Auschwitz death camp to protest Poland’s government.

The man, Piotr Rybak, and about 45 others carrying the national flag hope to enter the Holocaust memorial site to place a wreath on the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp.

Rybak accuses the government of remembering only Jews and not murdered Poles in yearly observances at the memorial site.

That accusation is incorrect. The Auschwitz observances are inclusive and ecumenical, paying homage to all of the camp’s victims.

The incident comes amid a surge of right-wing extremism in Poland.

Most of the 1.1 million people murdered by Nazi German forces at the camp during World War II were Jews. Other victims include Poles, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war.

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9 a.m.

Former prisoners of Auschwitz have placed flowers at an execution wall at the former Nazi German death camp on the 74th anniversary of the camp’s liberation and what is now International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The survivors wore striped scarves that recalled their uniforms, some with the red letter “P,” the symbol the Germans used to mark them as Poles.

Early in World War II, most prisoners were Poles, rounded up by the occupying German forces. Later, Auschwitz was transformed into a mass killing site for Jews, Roma and others.

A ceremony is planned later Sunday near the ruins of the gas chambers to honor the 1.1 million people killed there and all Holocaust victims, one of several worldwide observances.

The camp was liberated by Soviet forces on Jan. 27, 1945.

Categories: International News