Auschwitz survivor dies on date of liberation
Kazimierz Smolen, a 91-year-old Auschwitz survivor who after World War II became director of the memorial site, died on the 67th anniversary of its liberation.
Smolen died yesterday in a hospital in Oswiecim, the southern Polish town where Nazi Germany operated Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War II, said Pawel Sawicki, spokesman for Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum.
Yesterday was the anniversary of the camp's 1945 liberation by Soviet troops.
January 27 was designated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day by the United Nations in 2005, and was marked with ceremonies across Europe.
Two years after the war ended, Auschwitz-Birkenau became a museum -- and Smolen himself served as its director from 1955-1990.
He continued to live in the town after his retirement, often attending the memorial ceremonies marking the camp's liberation.