Sweden remembers Holocaust victims

Events are taking place across Sweden to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps.

It is exactly seven decades since the camps were liberated from Nazi control on January 27th 1945.

Between 1940 and 1945, more than one million people, mostly Jews, were killed in the camps in Poland and elsewhere in Europe as part of the largest mass execution on record. 

“Auschwitz has been become the symbol of all the extermination and concentration camps that existed,” said Lena Posner-Körösi, Chairman of the Jewish community in Stockholm.

"Jews across the country will be holding different events to remember this," she told The Local.

The main event is taking place at 6pm in Stockholm's Great Synagogue, which is holding a ceremony set to be attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, Holocaust survivor Livia Frankel, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Isaac Bachman and Mark Brzezinski – the Israeli and US ambassadors to Sweden.

A memorial to the victims of the Holocaust is engraved on the wall next to the synagogue, listing 8500 victims of the Holocaust with links to Sweden. 

Other events are taking place at synagogues in Gothenburg, Norrköping and Malmö, while Borås in southern Sweden is hosting one of the country’s largest exhibitions on the Holocaust.

St. Jacob's Church in Stockholm will also remember the many Roma who also died during World War Two. On one night alone between August 2nd and 3rd 1944, Nazi soldiers ordered around 3,000 Roma into concentration camp gas chambers, where they perished.

Crown Princess Victoria and the Speaker of Sweden’s parliament Urban Ahlin will be representing Sweden at a memorial ceremony at the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps in Poland.