A new survey released by CBOS pollsters reveals that the overwhelming majority of Poles believe that the Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau holds an important place in the nation’s collective memory.
The poll comes on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp by Red Army soldiers on 27 January 1945.
According to the survey, 93 percent of Poles believe that the memory of the camp – where over one million people died at the hands of the Nazi occupiers – is important for them, of which 43 percent stated that such memory is of ‘great importance’.
The poll reveals that Poles’ attitudes towards the former concentration camp have not changed greatly over the past two decades.
For some Poles, Auschwitz-Birkenau is part of their family narrative, with almost one in ten (nine percent) declaring that a family member was a camp inmate, with four percent stating that a close one died there.
Almost one in five respondents (17 percent) stated that a family member had been held at a German camp during World War II, with 13 percent stating that family members had been held captive in Nazi German POW camps.
The CBOS poll was conducted between 8-14 January 2015 on a representative selection of 1,005 adult Poles. (jb)
Picture: A giant tent is erected over the Gate of Death (far background) at the former Nazi-German concentration and extermination camp KL Auschwitz II-Birkenau ahead of the upcoming 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in Oswiecim, Poland, 15 January 2015. On 27 January 1945, Soviet forces liberated the biggest German Nazi death camp. EPA/JACEK BEDNARCZYK