It is estimated that about 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were killed in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp network between June 1940 and January 1945, with millions more people, including Jews, Slavs, Romanis, communists, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and the mentally and physically disabled, exterminated by the Nazis during the Second World War.
For many, the anniversary was a deeply personal day – one which affected their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Some users shared the very personal experiences of their families, while others tweeted and retweeted the moving stories of survivors and their families.
Some users also remembered and took note of the fact that it was the Red Army that liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau network of camps, along with most of the Nazis' other death camps, which operated, for the most part, in Eastern Europe.
Unfortunately, many users used the catch-all word 'Russian' to describe what was very much a Soviet effort (in addition to Russians, the Red Army consisted of over 100 ethnic groups, including Ukrainians, Belarusians, Georgians, Armenians, Azeris, Latvians, Kyrgyz, and dozens of others). Still, their hearts were in the right place.
Liberated by Russian army, children who survived Auschwitz Jan 27, 1945. My uncle (still alive today) at far left. https://t.co/rHBNNpU0l9— sez_me_man (@sez_me_man) 27 января 2016
A Soviet soldier recalled: "I had seen a lot in this war. I had seen hanged people, burned people. But still I was unprepared for Auschwitz"— Roger Moorhouse (@Roger_Moorhouse) 27 января 2016
27 de enero de 1945: Hace 70 años, el Ejército Rojo soviético liberó Auschwitz. pic.twitter.com/aMy104utuo— Rubén González (@rubenglez) 27 января 2016
"January 27, 1945:  years ago, the Soviet Red Army liberated Auschwitz." Poster reads: 'Glory to the liberators!'
Liberación de Auschwitz por parte del Ejército Soviético… (El soldado Ryan no estaba) pic.twitter.com/5U9JX7rGs3— ★Sangha★ (@SanghaRep) 27 января 2016
"The liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Army (the soldier was not Private Ryan)."
Saddened, inspired, or forced into contemplative thought, many users seem to have taken away two very important messages from the commemoration: the capacity for man's incapacity to man, and the resilience of the human spirit.
Jacob Bronowski, born on this day in 1908, on the dark side of certainty and the true spirit of science https://t.co/TXiAzyv4ZU— Maria Popova (@brainpicker) 18 января 2016
Today marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Learn history, never let it repeat past horrors pic.twitter.com/HcgBDfhkWW— Citizen Halo (@haloefekti) 27 января 2016