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Images from the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

By Agnieszka Kajczyk

Before the public around the world saw in April 1945, during the liberation of death camps in Germany by the American and British forces, the shocking photographs and films showing the extent of the Nazis’ crimes, the Red Army was already a step away from victory and the last offensive of the Eastern front was taking place. 

On their way to taking Berlin and cementing the defeat of Nazi Germany the Soviets liberated all the concentration and death camps they encountered in the eastern and central parts of occupied Poland, starting in July 1944 with the German concentration camp in Lublin, commonly known as Majdanek. On the 27th of January 1945 the soldiers of the 1st Ukrainian Front entered the Auschwitz — Birkenau camp after fighting a battle in the area. Out of the estimated 1.3 million people brought to KL Auschwitz only around 7 thousand prisoners, mainly the sick and exhausted who weren’t able to participate in the evacuation of the camp, survived to the day of liberation.

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