Survivors lay wreathes at Auschwitz to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust survivors have returned to Auschwitz to lay wreaths to commemorate the 1.1 million people who died there during the Second World War.

Ninety percent of those murdered at Auschwtiz-Birkenau were Jewish.

Monday marks Holocaust Memorial Day and 75 years since the mass murder camp was liberated by Soviet troops and 7,000 prisoners were freed.

However, almost half of these people would die as they were too ill, starving or exhausted to survive.

Ahead of the liberation, the Germans blew up Crematorium V, the last of the five joint furnace/gas chamber complexes they had used so monstrously at Auschwitz.

With the arrival of the Russian Army imminent, they were trying to destroy evidence of the crime they had committed.

The Germans then moved 60,000 prisoners westwards towards other camps. Many of them would die on Death Marches.

  • Drone footage of Auschwitz concentration camp

Later on Monday, the survivors will be joined by world leaders for a commemoration ceremony which will be attended by the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the UK Holocaust Memorial Day commemorative ceremony in Westminster.

Around 200 survivors of the camp are expected to come to the Memorial from all over the world.