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Today in history: Liberation of the Camp

Today In 1945, the Auschwitz death camp was liberated by the Red Army.

After the occupation of Poland, the Germans began “Arization” measures in the western part of the ‘Vertgau’ region, which included the deportation and killing of Poles and Jews, and the settlement of ethnic Germans. In 1940, the SS began to establish large concentration camps for ‘undesirables’, and in April an camp was built in Auschwitz, not far from Krakow, under the command of Rudolf Hess. In 1941, the camp was expanded to take prisoners, and a labor camp was added for the ‘E.G. Farben’ company. In October, the Auschwitz 2 (Birkenau) camp, which began functioning in 1942 as an extermination camp, was established, and during 1943 became the central focus of the Nazi ‘Final Solution’. A railway system led Jews from all over Europe, who were killed in gas chambers and burned in crematories. In 1944, the extermination reached its peak, with the conquest of Hungary and the determination of the Nazi leadership to destroy the Jews quickly. In November, the extermination was halted due to the approaching Red Army, and the Nazis began dismantling the camp. In January 1945, the death marches of the camp survivors began to take place towards Germany, but the Soviets were able to monitor and expose the site to the world. In total, some 1.3 million people (most of them Jews) were killed in Auschwitz, and it remains in the human collective as a symbol of cruelty and evil. Especialy in times like these, it is important to remember what Genocide actualy looks like.

Photo credit – Wikipedia

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