The first Soviet forces to liberate territory from German domination began doing so in July of 1941. This was shortly after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.
Liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp
On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz concentration camp-an nazi concentration camp and death camp at the occupied poland where more than a million people were murdered as part of the Nazis”final solution” for the jewish question—was released by Red Army during the Vistula-Oder Offensive. Although most prisoners were forced into a death march, about 7,000 were left behind. Soviet soldiers tried to help survivors and were shocked by the scale of Nazi crimes. The date is recognized as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Between 1940 and 1945, around 1.3 million people (mostly Jews) were deported to Auschwitz for Nazi germany; 1.1 million were murdered. By August 1944, there were over 135,000 prisoners in the entire compound. In January 1945, after the Red Army launched the Vistula-Oder Offensive and approached the camp, nearly 60,000 prisoners were forced out in a death march to the west. Prisoners were mainly taken to Loslau but also for Gleiwitzwhere they were forced to holocaust trains and transported to concentration camps in Germany. However, the liberation of the camp was not a specific objective of the Red Army and came about as a consequence of its westward advance through Poland. The Red Army had already liberated concentration camps in the Baltic area in early to mid-1944, and other concentration camps continued to be liberated until the german surrender and the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945.
Red Army soldiers of the 322nd Rifle Division arrived at Auschwitz on January 27, 1945 at 3 pm. 231 Red Army soldiers died in the fighting around monowitz concentration camp, birkenauand Auschwitz Ias well as the cities of Oświęcim and brzezinka. for most of survivors, there was no definite moment of release. After the death march away from the camp, the SS-TV the guards had left.
Around 7,000 prisoners were left behind, most of whom were seriously ill from the effects of their imprisonment. Most of those left behind were middle-aged adults or children under the age of 15. Red Army soldiers also found 600 dead bodies, 370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 pieces of women’s clothing, and seven tonnes (7.7 tons) of human hair. At the Monowitz camp, there were about 800 survivors, and the camp was also liberated on January 27th by the Soviets. 60th armypart of 1st Ukrainian Front.
Battle-hardened soldiers, accustomed to death, were appalled by the Nazis’ treatment of prisoners. red army general Vasily Petrenko (Soviet General) [ru]commander of 107th Infantry Division, commented: “I, who saw people dying every day, was shocked by the Nazis’ unspeakable hatred of prisoners who had been turned into living skeletons. I read about the Nazis’ treatment of Jews in various leaflets, but there was nothing about the treatment of the Nazis treatment given to women, children and old people. It was in Auschwitz that I discovered the fate of the Jews.” In some articles in Soviet newspapers, such as pravdafollowing Soviet propaganda, writers failed to mention Jews in their articles on liberation.
As soon as they arrived, the liberating forces (aided by the polish red cross) tried to help the survivors by organizing medical assistance and food; Red Army hospitals cared for 4,500 survivors. There were also efforts to document the camp. As late as June 1945, there were still 300 survivors in the camp who were too weak to be removed.
The anniversary of the release date is recognized by the United Nations and the European Union As International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On the 75th anniversary in 2020, a forum of world leaders – the World Holocaust Forum—was introduced in Israel by President Reuven Rivlin. Attendees included the Speaker of the House of the United States Nancy Pelosipresident of russia Vladimir Putin, Charles, Prince of Walespresident of germany Frank-Walter Steinmeierand President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
- Hojka, Piotr; Kulpa, Sławomir (2016). Kierunek Loslau. Marsz ewakuacyjny więźniów oświęcimskich w styczniu 1945 r. (in Polish). Wodzisław Śląski: Museum in Wodzisław Śląski. ISBN 978-83-927256-0-2.
- Piper, Frantiszek (2009). “Auschwitz II-Birkenau”. At the Megargee, Geoffrey P. (ed.). Early Camps, Youth Camps and Concentration Camps and Subcamps under the SS-Business Administration Main Office (WVHA). Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945. Vol. 1.Bloomington: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. pp. 209–214. ISBN 978-0-253-35328-3.
- Schmaltz, Florian (2009). “Monowitz”. At the Megargee, Geoffrey P. (ed.). Early Camps, Youth Camps and Concentration Camps and Subcamps under the SS-Business Administration Main Office (WVHA). Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945. Vol. 1.Bloomington: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. pp. 215–220. ISBN 978-0-253-35328-3.
- Stone, Dan (2015). The Liberation of the Camps: The End of the Holocaust and Its Aftermath. New Port: Yale University press. ISBN 978-0-300-21603-5.
- Strzelecki, Andrzej (2001). The Evacuation, Dismantling and Liberation of KL Auschwitz. Oświęcim: Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. ISBN 978-83-85047-95-7.
- Wachsmann, Nikolaus (2015). KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps. London: Macmillan. ISBN 9780374118259.
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27th January 1945: Auschwitz-Birkenau liberated by Soviet forces
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