On this day in 1945, prisoners of Poland’s concentration camp, Auschwitz, where Nazis had exterminated more than one million people were finally free.
How was Auschwitz liberated?
Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Red Army during the Vistula–Oder Offensive of World War II. Although most of the prisoners had died by the time the camp was liberated, about 7,000 remained. The liberation of the camp was not a previous goal of the Red Army, but happened as a consequence of their advance westward across Poland. On site of the camp and the state of the prisoners, members of the Soviet army were shocked.
When were other concentration camps liberated?
By August 1944, there were more than 135,000 prisoners across the complex. The Red Army helped to liberate concentration camps in the Baltic area through mid-1944, and other concentration camps were liberated until the German surrender at the end of World War II in Europe in 1945.