WINNIPEG -- Monday, Jan. 27 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp where more than one million people died -- most of them Jewish.

The death camp was also the site of Dr. Josef Mengele's experiments on twins, in which his medical subjects were subjected to disease, disfigurement, torture and death. These actions earned him the title ‘Angel of Death.’

On Sunday, Jan. 26 in Winnipeg, Richard K. Lowy, the son of a twin who survived the experiments, shared his father's story and relived his family’s pain.


Leo Lowy, who died in 2002, was sent to Auschwitz as a boy.

It was at this concentration camp that Leo and his twin sister Miriam were experimented on by Dr. Mengele.

“He would pay particular interest to my dad's eyes, and then he would look at his sister's eyes. I can't imagine what that fear must have been like,” Richard said at a ceremony Sunday at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army.

The Lowy twins survived Auschwitz, but lost their entire family, who were among the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

The siblings arrived in Canada in 1948 as orphans and settled in Vancouver.

Richard said there is a rising tide of discrimination in 2020 and his father's story is relevant today.

“This is a story that we need to know, so we can understand moving forward how to deal with hatred and racism,” he said.

The lesson wasn't lost on the Winnipeg Youth Chorus, which opened the ceremony.

The group practised for month to prepare for the performance.

“Learning the lyrics and the melody of the music does something history books just can't do,” said Lisa Rempel, one of the chorus’ artistic directors.

“It's just an amazing experience to be able to perform that here.”