Aerial footage has been released that shows the vast scale of the Auschwitz concentration camp, ahead of the 70th anniversary of its liberation.

Released by the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January), the drone video captures from the sky the huge size of the World War II Nazi death camp, located in southern Poland.

On Tuesday 27 January, European heads of state and former inmates will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation by the Red Army.

Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp was created by the Nazi Germany during the Second World War and claimed the lives of an estimated 1.5 million people.

Set up in 1940 by occupying Nazi forces near the town of Oswiecim in southern Poland as a labour camp for Poles, Auschwitz gradually became the centrepiece in Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's "final solution" plan to exterminate Jews.

The scale of the industrialised killing at the camp, the cruelty of the guards and the pseudo-medical experiments conducted on prisoners by Nazi doctors have made Auschwit zsynonymous with a coldly efficient genocide and total degradation of humanity.