Holocaust

Pope Francis visited the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz on Friday, keeping a near-total silence to honor the more than 1 million people — almost all of them Jews — who were systematically killed there during World War II.

He said a few quiet words to a group of survivors of the concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, and wrote the following message in Spanish: "Lord, have mercy on your people. Lord, forgive us for so much cruelty."

Using advanced imaging technology, researchers in Lithuania have uncovered a tunnel that Jewish prisoners used to escape Nazi extermination pits.

By doing so, they have provided physical evidence of a well-known tale of heroism during the Holocaust — known before only through the testimony of 11 Jews who escaped.

For the past 72 years, teams have been searching for the tunnel at the Ponar massacre site, located in a forest about 6 miles from Vilnius.

Nicholas Winton is often referred to as "Britain's Schindler."

He was a young British stockbroker when, in December 1938, he canceled a trip to go skiing in Switzerland, and instead went to visit a friend in Prague who was helping refugees fleeing from the Nazis.

In her suburban London row house, Margit Goodman, 94, sits wrapped in blankets in her favorite recliner.

She was a girl of 17 when she first came to Britain, escaping from her native Prague just before the Germans invaded. She remembers the exact date: June 5, 1939.

"When I left, [Czechoslovakia] was still a free country," she recalls. "But we soon became occupied by the Germans."

Courtesy of the Wshington Holocaust Education Resocure Center

The nation’s newest Holocaust museum, and the first in Washington state, is about to be unveiled in downtown Seattle. Its founders hope it will connect lessons from history with present-day issues.

The people behind the Holocaust Center for Humanity have been working in Washington classrooms for decades. Now they’ll have a permanent home in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, where teachers, students and the public can come to them.

AP Photo

Disclosure: Pacific Lutheran University holds the license for KPLU.

Pacific Lutheran University will soon become the first Northwest college to offer a course of study in the Holocaust and other genocides.

The school will allow students to begin pursuing a minor in Holocaust and genocide studies starting next fall, says PLU professor and historian Bob Ericksen.

Western Washington University

There are a handful of Holocaust survivors in the Northwest who were old enough during World War II to remember the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp.

Noemi Ban, 91, of Bellingham is one of them. Ban was a young woman when she lost most of her family at Auschwitz. She survived, and has been sharing her story of hope and forgiveness since.