First publish: 24 January 2014
27th of January is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. For the ICRC, it also marks a failure, the failure to help and protect the millions of people who were exterminated in the death camps. The ICRC has publicly expressed its regret regarding its impotence and the mistakes it made in dealing with Nazi persecution and genocide.
Under Hitler’s regime, Jews were deprived of all their rights and dispossessed of their property, packed into overcrowded ghettos, forced to wear a yellow star and subjected to countless forms of humiliation and brutality, to deportation and massacres. During the war, the number of roundups increased and Jews were systematically deported to concentration and extermination camps, cut off completely from the outside world.
- Dialogue with the past: the ICRC and the Nazi death camps – François Bugnion, the ICRC’s Director for International Law and Cooperation within the Movement, reflects* on the organization’s failure to react vigorously to the persecution of Jews by the Third Reich.
- The Nazi genocide and other persecutions
- Commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz – 27 January 2005 – Auschwitz, which represents the greatest failure in the ICRC’s history, remains a powerful symbol of the horrors committed by the Hitler regime and serves to remind humanity that it must act in the face of future threats of genocide.
- ICRC in WW II: bibliography