This evening was the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day. It will end at sunset tomorrow, following the Jewish and Biblical tradition of reckoning a day from one sunset to the next. Yom HaShoah is observed on the Jewish Calendar date of 27 Nissan, which was chosen because the date fell after the Passover, but within the time of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The corresponding date on the Gregorian Calendar can vary quite a bit, due to the Jewish Calendar being based on lunar cycles and sometimes adding a "leap month".
Read more at About(dot)com and Monkey In The Middle, written by Findalis, one of my friends in the blogosphere.
In 2000, I had the somber privilege of visiting Auschwitz and Birkenau, both located near the Polish town of Oświęcim. (Birkenau and another unit named Monowitz, used to supply German chemical plants with slave labor, started out as sub-camps of Auschwitz.) One of the barracks at Auschwitz has been converted into a museum, full of exhibits containing artifacts taken from the prisoners, similar to those at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, but much larger. Auschwitz still includes the wire fences with posts with curved tops, a few ovens used for cremation, and the ominous sign "Arbeit macht frei". Only a small fraction of the numerous wooden barracks remain at Birkenau, but the camp otherwise has largely been preserved.