President of the Swiss Confederation takes part in remembrance event at Auschwitz

Bern, 24.01.2020 - On Monday, 27 January some 200 Holocaust survivors and many heads of state and government are expected to attend the ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. President Simonetta Sommaruga will represent Switzerland at the memorial event, and will be accompanied by Swiss Holocaust survivors and two students.

The memorial event at Auschwitz is organised by the Auschwitz Museum and the international Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. Speeches will be given by Holocaust survivors and members of organisations which contribute to the upkeep of the memorial. The event will end in the evening with a remembrance ceremony at the monument to the victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.

More than a million people are believed to have been exterminated in Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Nazi regime between 1940 and 1945. Soldiers of the Red Army liberated the survivors in the early hours of the afternoon of 27 January 1945. In 2005 the UN General Assembly designated 27 January International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Switzerland believes it is important to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and to learn from the past. This is the aim of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, of which Switzerland has been a member since 2004. Switzerland has contributed CHF 1.2 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Perpetual Fund.

Ms Sommaruga will travel to Poland accompanied by Holocaust survivors and two students; young people, too, should know of the events of the time, and not let them be forgotten. Prior to the remembrance event to mark the liberation of Auschwitz, on 19 January 2020 Ms Sommaruga met Holocaust survivors in Switzerland. 

Address for enquiries

Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), Press and Information service, Kochergasse 6, 3003 Bern, +41 58 462 55 11


General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications; General Secretariat DETEC