History Lesson Tuesdays: 1.27.2023 Auschwitz is Liberated

On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops enter Auschwitz, Poland, freeing the survivors of the network of concentration camps—and finally revealing to the world the depth of the horrors perpetrated there.

Auschwitz was really a group of camps, designated I, II, and III. There were also 40 smaller “satellite” camps. It was at Auschwitz II, at Birkenau, established in October 1941, that the SS created a complex, monstrously orchestrated killing ground: 300 prison barracks; four “bathhouses” in which prisoners were gassed; corpse cellars; and cremating ovens. Thousands of prisoners were also used for medical experiments overseen and performed by the camp doctor, Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death.”

The Red Army had been advancing deeper into Poland since mid-January. Having liberated Warsaw and Krakow, Soviet troops headed for Auschwitz. In anticipation of the Soviet arrival, SS officers began a murder spree in the camps, shooting sick prisoners and blowing up crematoria in a desperate attempt to destroy the evidence of their crimes. When the Red Army finally broke through, Soviet soldiers encountered 648 corpses and more than 7,000 starving camp survivors. There were also six storehouses filled with hundreds of thousands of women’s dresses, men’s suits and shoes that the Germans did not have time to burn.

  1. In this photo taken in January 1945, survivors stand behind the gates of the camp at Auschwitz, as they watch the arrival of Soviet troops. (Credit: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images)
  2. Soviet Red Army soldiers stand with liberated prisoners of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in this 1945 photo. (Credit: Sovfoto/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)
  3. A 15-year-old Russian boy, Ivan Dudnik, is rescued. The teen was brought to Auschwitz from his home in the Orel region by the Nazis. (Credit: Sovfoto/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)
  4. An aerial reconnaissance photograph over occupied Poland, shows Auschwitz II (Birkenau Extermination Camp) on December 21, 1944. It is one a series of aerial photographs taken by Allied reconnaissance units under the command of the 15th U.S. Army Air Force during missions dating between April 4, 1944 and January 14, 1945. (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
  5. Hungarian Jews arrive in Auschwitz-Birkenau, in German-occupied Poland in June 1944. Between May 2 and July 9, more than 425,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz. (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
  6. Men selected for forced labor from amongst Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz-Birkenau, in German-occupied Poland, June 1944. (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
  7. This photo Auschwitz survivors was taken by a Soviet photographer in February 1945 during the making of a film about the liberation of the camp. (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
  8. Child survivors of Auschwitz show their tattooed arms in a photo as part of the film about the camp’s liberation. Soviet filmmakers dressed the children in the clothing from adult prisoners. (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
  9. Two children pose in the Auschwitz medical station after the camp’s liberation. The Soviet army entered Auschwitz on January 27, 1945 and released more than 7,000 remaining prisoners, most of whom were ill and dying. (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
  10. This is a card taken from the hospital files produced by Soviet staff after the liberation of the camp. The information about the patient, labeled No. 16557, reads, “Bekrie, Eliu, 18 years, from Paris. alimentary dystrophy, third degree.” (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
  11. The medical card shows 14-year-old Hungarian boy, Stephen Bleier. The card diagnoses Bleier with alimentary dystrophy, second degree. (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
  12. A Soviet army surgeon examines an Auschwitz survivor, Vienna engineer Rudolf Scherm. (Credit: Sovfoto/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)
  13. Seven tons of hair, shown here in a 1945 photo, were found in the camp’s depots. Also recovered at the camp were some 3,800 suitcases; more than 88 pounds of eyeglasses; 379 striped uniforms; 246 prayer shawls, and more than 12,000 pots and pans brought to the camp by victims who believed that they would eventually be resettled. (Credit: Vptava/Imagno/Getty Images)
  14. Soviet Soldiers inspect a pile of clothing items behind at the camp on January 28, 1945. (Credit: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
  15. Civilians and soldiers recover corpses from the common graves of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in this February 1945 photo. Some 1.3 million people were sent to the camp, according to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and more than 1.1 million were killed. (Credit: Mandadori/Getty Images)

#Awareness, #BreakingNews, #CrazyTimes, #HistoricalFacts, #HistoryInTheMaking, #History.com, #InterestingFacts, #LivesDestroyed, #Tragedy, #Nazis, #ConcentrationCamp, #Auschwitz, #Horrifying, #Jews, #Jewish


Published by VintageDava

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