Holocaust remembered in Russia
A former Red Army commander who participated in the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz said Sunday that he is still haunted by what he saw that day. "What struck me first were the boxes with children's footwear, eyeglass frames, human hair," Gen. Vasily Petrenko, 90, said during a Holocaust Day memorial event in the Russian capital, according to Interfax news agency. The event, held at the Federation of Peace and Accord, commemorates the Jan. 27, 1945 liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Army. An estimated 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, died at the Nazi death camp in then German-occupied Poland. "Auschwitz is the climax of human degradation, of human baseness," said Alla Gerber of the Holocaust Foundation. Leonid Nevzlin, President of the Russian Jewish Congress and a member of Russia's Federation Council, called on young Jews to be "more educated, active and intelligent" to ensure that the lessons of Nazi terror are never forgotten.