On this day, 80 years ago, the first batch of Jewish prisoners arrived in the small Polish town of Auschwitz, the largest-known mass murder site in history. The journey to Auschwitz took several days and nights, in which prisoners were fully crammed into freight-wagons with no food and water. This, however, was only the beginning of one of the greatest genocides ever committed in recorded human history.

Upon arrival, Nazi soldiers divided the prisoners into two queues. The only difference between the queues was that one consisted of those who were sent off to the gas chambers to die immediately while those in the other queue were tortured their way into death in one of the worst ways imaginable. Those who stayed eventually died not only due to starvation, severe beatings and horrendous torture, but also due to the dehumanization of their existence. By the time World War II ended, 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other European had been killed in the Auschwitz death camps alone.

The memory of Auschwitz will continue to remind us of the horrors that a humanbeing with power and authority is capable of committing on hundreds of thousands of innocent human lives. It will forever stay as a historic symbol of human suffering.