This week in the War,22–28 January 1945: Soviet troops enter Auschwitz

Soviet soldiers talk with children just liberated from Auschwitz concentration camp, January 1945 [Public domain]

This week in the war, on 27 January 1945, Soviet troops arrived at Auschwitz.

Belsen would eventually be liberated by British troops and Dachau by the Americans, and both of those camps would become well known to the public in Britain and America. But Auschwitz and its numerous satellite camps was destined to stand out by virtue of the enormity of scale.

Of Jews murdered in the Third Reich during World War II, a million were murdered in Auschwitz alone. So were many thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of Soviet POWs, Poles, gay men, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others whom the Nazis saw as enemies or undesirables.

27 January is now commemorated as International Holocaust Memorial Day.

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