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Watch: OneShot — 75 Years Ago, Liberation of Auschwitz

It was 3 p.m. on January 27, 1945, when the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Soviet Army. The full scope of the Nazi barbarities, which included the extermination of six million Jews, was about to be exposed to the world.

That January afternoon 75 years ago also marks the beginning of the documenting process, the painful but necessary gathering of evidence, accounts, photographs and film that would later be used in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, and stand as the historical record of the Holocaust.

About 1.3 million people (mostly Jews) had been deported to the Polish camp by the Nazi regime. In Auschwitz, 1.1 million people were exterminated. Before they were taken to the gas chamber, they would leave their personal effects behind; eyeglasses, clothing, shoes. These objects were found after the liberation, piled up in the warehouses at the camp.

Liberation of Auschwitz © United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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