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. 

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    Let us not forget what happened, rather let us learn so that we might not repeat.
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    Not to mention the numerous others Hitler was trying to do away with (though, I’m well aware the number of Jews compared...
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