January 27, 1945: The Soviet Red Army liberates Auschwitz concentration camp.

Although there are certainly doubts of whether the Soviet liberation was as “noble” as their propaganda enjoyed portraying it as, the liberation of Auschwitz has become something larger than it was - a symbol of the end of the Holocaust as a whole (although many camps, including Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Buchenwald were not freed until later in the spring). Still, January 27 is now recognized as a memorial day - International Holocaust Remembrance Day - by the United Nations. 

For millions, liberation came too late. Before the Red Army and other Allied forces could free the camps, an estimated 6 million Jews had been killed in the camps (78% of the entire population of European Jews), nearly 2 million Poles, up to 1.5 million Romani, and hundreds of thousands of disabled, Freemasons, Homosexuals, and other individual groups.

Specifics and exacts are difficult to determine, however, for the SS made every attempt to hide their crimes. In a last-ditch attempt, the SS command ordered the death of all the prisoners on January 17, ten days before the Soviets arrived; fortunately, these orders where never carried out amidst the chaos of retreat. The crematoria and gas chambers, on orders from Himmler, were destroyed before the liberation, but there was no undoing what the chambers - and the men working them - had accomplished in a few years. An Auschwitz commandant later testified that an estimated 3 million people had died there. 

A little over two years after the camp was liberated, the first commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, was fittingly hanged in front of the crematorium. 

  1. dancingaroundmythoughts reblogged this from unhistorical
  2. rascalous reblogged this from thefiveandten
  3. thefiveandten reblogged this from historyofeurope
  4. theactofhistory reblogged this from historyofeurope
  5. hermanngoering reblogged this from jefffischer
  6. jefffischer reblogged this from unhistorical
  7. mr-brightside- reblogged this from historyofeurope
  8. maslowmondays reblogged this from historyofeurope
  9. praggnificent reblogged this from the-thirsty-devil
  10. daphene-hughes reblogged this from unhistorical
  11. the-thirsty-devil reblogged this from dameunaalegria
  12. infinitevss reblogged this from dameunaalegria
  13. the-owl-of-minerva reblogged this from historyofeurope
  14. thnksfrthmammaries reblogged this from historyofeurope
  15. pepsimanco reblogged this from historyofeurope
  16. libbiezahrobskyy reblogged this from coffeediscoveries
  17. coffeediscoveries reblogged this from historyofeurope and added:
    Let us not forget what happened, rather let us learn so that we might not repeat.
  18. aisling-r reblogged this from the-seed-of-europe
  19. agab22 reblogged this from fuckingprettyfeelings
  20. fuckingprettyfeelings reblogged this from unhistorical
  21. emilyfranbo reblogged this from karen-gillan
  22. dameunaalegria reblogged this from unhistorical
  23. jexxxxxx reblogged this from shadyoaks and added:
    Not to mention the numerous others Hitler was trying to do away with (though, I’m well aware the number of Jews compared...
  24. yeahwellyourface reblogged this from historyofeurope
  25. bmoreprincess reblogged this from hammandbuble
  26. hammandbuble reblogged this from omgbarton
  27. rapturesrevenge reblogged this from historyofeurope
  28. butterscotchdumdums reblogged this from karen-gillan
  29. unicornbits reblogged this from yougreatprune
  30. katnushavemycheesebunz reblogged this from karen-gillan
  31. karen-gillan reblogged this from omgbarton