January 27, 2006

January 27, 1945

Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army.

The liberation saved about 7,500 sick prisoners who had been left behind by the Nazis:

In mid-January 1945, as Soviet forces approached the Auschwitz camp complex, the SS began evacuating Auschwitz and its satellite camps. Nearly 60,000 prisoners were forced to march west from the Auschwitz camp system. Thousands had been killed in the camps in the days before these death marches began. Tens of thousands of prisoners, mostly Jews, were forced to march to the city of Wodzislaw in the western part of Upper Silesia. SS guards shot anyone who fell behind or could not continue. Prisoners also suffered from the cold weather, starvation, and exposure on these marches. More than 15,000 died during the death marches from Auschwitz.

Upon arrival in Wodzislaw, the prisoners were put on unheated freight trains and transported to concentration camps in Germany, particularly to Flossenbuerg, Sachsenhausen, Gross-Rosen, Buchenwald, and Dachau, and also to Mauthausen in Austria. The rail journey lasted for days. Without food, water, shelter, or blankets, many prisoners did not survive the transport.

The liberation of Auschwitz was especially important because it finally revealed the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis to the world. Well, to the sensible and sane part of the world, anyway. It's something that needs to be remembered.

Posted by Jennifer at January 27, 2006 11:00 AM | TrackBack


I could not agree more. I always worry that the passage of time leads to people not understanding the importance of remembering the Holocaust. I hope I am wrong.

Posted by: Mr. Fabulous at January 29, 2006 04:58 PM