January 27 2023 — 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. I believe that the quote at the top of this post speak volumes. I would rather not comment… But, just to be very clear, no American soldiers, let alone Obama’s uncle, ever came close to liberate the Jewish people held in Auschwitz. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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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, the German Gestapo 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 literally hundreds of thousands of women’s dresses, men’s suits, and shoes that the Germans did not have time to burn.
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27th January 1945: Auschwitz-Birkenau liberated by Soviet forces
They met some resistance from the remaining Nazi troops in the city, but by 3pm had captured the Main Camp and Auschwitz II – Birkenau.
By the end of 1944, the Soviet Union was making significant gains against the Nazis on the Eastern Front. As a result SS chief Heinrich Himmler ordered the end of gassings across the Reich, and the systematic destruction of written records.
Approximately 65,000 prisoners were evacuated deeper into the Reich between August 1944 and January 1945 but tens of thousands of prisoners still remained in Auschwitz.
Therefore, on the 17th January, at least another 58,000 inmates were sent on a death march under armed guard; of those who departed around 20,000 made it to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.
More than 7,000 prisoners were left behind in the camp because they were deemed too weak or sick to complete the march.
Meanwhile, the Nazis continued to destroy evidence of the crimes committed in the camps by blowing up or burning many remaining buildings including the crematoria.
Remaining SS troops were ordered to kill the remaining inmates, murdering over 600 of them before the Soviet forces arrived. However, due to the quick progress of the Red Army some buildings – as well as thousands of inmates – survived.
After the liberation, hospital facilities were established at the camp to provide medical treatment for the survivors. On the 2nd July 1947, the Polish parliament passed an act that turned the camp in to a museum.
Soviets liberate Auschwitz — History
Gore Announces Lieberman as Running Mate — CNN
Uncle liberated camp, but not Auschwitz — Politifact
On This Day — Soviets Liberate Auschwitz (January 27 1945) [International Holocaust Remembrance Day]
I don’t so much “like” this post as appreciate it, especially the video. When you look at all those faces, and think about the horrifying end so many of them met, it’s overwhelming. Devastating. Heartbreaking. We must all remember.
The picture reminded me of teaching Night by Elie Wiesel to 9th graders. The kids didn’t really get the book as far as I can tell. But I was blown away especially because of the events in Ukraine.