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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  January 31, 2015 9:50am-10:01am EST

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include ben franklin, albert einstein, and steve jobs. on american history tv on cspan3 at 6:00, the boston college history professor on how the cowboy became symbolic of a newly unified america. sunday evening at 6:00, we will tour the house that was the headquarters of the american red cross and learn about the life of its founder. find our complete schedule at www.c-span.org. let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us, e-mail us, or send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. general 27 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the auschwitz concentration camp
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in poland where more than one million people were killed. next on american history tv senator barbara mikulski reflects on the anniversary. this is about 10 minutes. >> next week on generally 27, it will be the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the auschwitz concentration camp. 70 years since the liberation of the auschwitz concentration camp. it was a triumph for our allies, but a melancholy day as the world begin to see the films and photographs come out of this hell hole. i stand here today to remind us all that more than any other
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word, else which -- auschwitz is synonymous with evil. as someone who is very proud of her polish-american heritage, i visited auschwitz. i wanted to see it when i had the chance to learn more about my own heritage. i wanted to see what happened there so that i would remember. and i rise today so that the world remembers what happened there, and the heroic effort of the allied forces who joined together to save europe and save western civilization. i have introduced a resolution honoring those that survived and those lost that would remind us that we need to work always for tolerance, peace, and justice. and always to end genocide. the horrors of auschwitz are
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incomprehensible and indescribable. the numbers are grim and ghoulish. over one million people, men women, and children, lost their lives. 90% were jews. hundreds of thousands were children. the largest of any of the death camps, else which was created as an internment camp. it was first created as an internment camp or polish dissidents for hundreds of thousands who were not jewish but were murdered alongside the jews of auschwitz. in occupied poland, the nazi governor proclaimed pols would forever be enslaved by the third reich. the german authorities brought in people from throughout europe. who were the people that came? they were teachers politicians professors artists, even
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catholic priests. they were executed or barely survived. these are the stories of heroism that arise from the horrors. many polish list likes to save -- risked their lives to save jews. one woman smuggled 200 jewish children into a safe house. the gestapo arrested her in 1943. they tortured her and then condemned her to death. one man working for the polish government who went on to become a founder of the new polish democratic government visited the warsaw ghetto and did much to liberate people. this is not a story of numbers or statistics for naming other
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heroes. digg is a story i'm going to tell about myself -- it is a story i'm going to tell about myself. in the late 1970's, i travel to poland. i wanted to see my heritage. i visited a small village my family came from. my great-grandmother left poland as a 16-year-old girl to come to the united states to meet up with her brother to begin a new life with little money in her pocket book big dreams in her heart. the story of america's the story of our family. landing in baltimore, women did not even have the right to vote. she came in 1886. exactly 100 years to the year, i became a senator. i wanted to go back to see where we can come to know our story better. i also wanted to see the dark side of the history of poland. i went to auschwitz.
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touring the concentration camp was an experience for me that was searing. even today i carry it not only in my mind's eye but i carry it in my heart. i could not believe the experience. madam president, you know me. you know i am a resilient person. i think you have shared stories i was a child abuse worker. i have seen tough things. but i was not prepared for what i saw that day. as i walked through the gate to see the sign that welcomed -- the despicable sign to welcome -- then we toured -- it is not a tourist site. it is a memorial, sacred ground. we saw the chambers where people died. i went to a particular cell of a
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catholic priest who in the death camp gave his life to protect a jewish member. when they were ready to shoot him, father colton stepped forward to offer his life instead. father colby has been canonized a saint for his heroic effort to show that he was willing to martyr himself or another been being in the belief that god was there and what he wanted to do. as i walked through there and saw tough things, ranging things, repulsive things, then i got to the part that broke my heart. i got to the part about the children. pictures of children, little children not that any child's age is there.
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then i saw the bins of the children's shoes piled with little shoes size two, size three, size four. laced up shoes because they were what they had in the 1930's and 1940's. then i saw the suitcases. in another corner, i saw the eyeglasses taken from them and broken into pieces. then i saw the pictures of the mothers. i became unglued. i had to step away. even today when i tell you this story, my voice chokes up because it shook my very soul. as we move into this commemoration, it is a celebration and commemoration. a celebration of the liberation. a commemoration of what went on. when i left, i knew and understood we should never have
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genocide in the world again. the second thing, so crucial to my views is that there always needed to be a homeland for the jewish people, why we always need an israel. why it has to be there survivable for the ages for all who seek refuge there. this is why i work so hard on these issues in terms of the support for israel, the end of genocide, and the gratitude for all the people who fought. for the people who fought in the underground, for the people who fought in the resistance. for people who participated in the famous uprisings. to thank god also for the other fighters, the ones who in the camp gave whatever they could to keep other camp members going. and for the allied troops, led
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by the united states of america. when we stood together, we stood and stared evil down. and when we opened up the doors of auschwitz, for freedom and the ability to come out alive that it was indeed a historic moment. we don't want that history to ever have to repeat itself where there has to be a liberation of a death camp. i want to take this opportunity to salute the allies and people who made us victorious in world war ii, so let's say god bless america and let's work together for a safe and secure middle east. madam president, i yield the four. >> holocaust survivors heads of state, and several hundred others gathered this past tuesday in poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the auschwitz birkenau

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