Home Entertainment On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Red Army. Photo: The liberation of Bergen-Belsen, April 1945.

On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Red Army. Photo: The liberation of Bergen-Belsen, April 1945.

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On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Red Army. Photo: The liberation of Bergen-Belsen, April 1945.

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34 Comments

  1. Fandorin

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    The first Soviet officer in the camp was [Anatoly Shapiro](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoly_Shapiro). He was a Ukrainian Jew. I think it’s fitting that a Jewish man was the commanding officer of the unit that liberated Auschwitz. I had the honor of meeting him before he passed away (he was friends with my grandma). He passed away in New York in 2005.

    Reply

  2. Atomskie

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Being so exhausted and malnourished that barbed wire makes a good back rest is something I hope I or any other never have to experience. I hope the world is learning, but I can’t say I am optimistic.

    Reply

  3. 440Dart

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Great work. Went there a year ago in January…moving experience to say the least. To think of what happened there and the things human beings where put through is unreal

    Reply

  4. Come_On_You_Blues

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Pretty much everyone should visit here. It a absolutely surreal. You just can’t imagine what it’s like. They have entire rooms full of women’s hair piled up. Same with shoes.

    You actually get to go onto the gas chambers where people died. You can feel the walls where I’m sure thousands of people clawed to get out.

    It’s so fucked up.

    Reply

  5. Bram06

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    It’s a shame that a lot of them would die from eating

    Reply

  6. enslavedbyvegetables

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    I was thinking how easy it would be to hop that fence. Then I zoomed in on it. Wow.

    Reply

  7. Too_Much_Perspective

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    As a twenty year old man, my Munich based Norwegian grandfather went to America for work and ended up enlisting in the army and eventually landing at Normandy as a US major. Before he left home, he worked as a photographer and seeing the madness that was ensuing around him gave his jewish assistant enough paperwork to hopefully convince anyone that he was in fact a norwegian-born german citizen and wouldn’t be sent to a ghetto.
    My grandfather came back from the war and settled in paris. Sometime after he died, my mother was contacted by a young man whom she had never met and never heard of. Who had gone to great lengths to find out that my grandfather was already dead, and then locate his next of kin. He was the grandson, roughly my age, of my grandfather’s assistant, alive on account of my grandfather’s fear for his assistant’s persecution and he wanted my mother to know that there was a tree planted for my grandfather in the garden of the righteous in Jerusalem.
    My grandfather went to his grave without ever mentioning this to his wife or three children. He had simply done a small thing to help and had done so without thought.
    We must never forget what these people went through, or that we are capable of creating conditions where something like this can happen again. We might simply be complicit by turning our backs on the suffering of people we consider to be different to ourselves.
    Today people in Europe shut their doors and close their borders to people who are fleeing danger with their families and looking for a better life. We must never forget that we have been here before and that people will remember, maybe even live off of the back of the smallest gestures of kindness and charity.

    Reply

  8. marinamaral

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    [More from me](http://www.marinamaral.com) || [Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/pg/marinamaralarts) || [Instagram](http://www.instagram.com/marinaarts)
    _________

    Bergen-Belsen, or Belsen, was a Nazi concentration camp in what is today Lower Saxony in northern Germany, southwest of the town of Bergen near Celle. Originally established as a prisoner of war camp, in 1943, parts of it became a concentration camp. Initially this was an “exchange camp”, where Jewish hostages were held with the intention of exchanging them for German prisoners of war held overseas. The camp was later expanded to accommodate Jews from other concentration camps.

    After 1945 the name was applied to the displaced persons camp established nearby, but it is most commonly associated with the concentration camp. From 1941 to 1945, almost 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war and a further 50,000 inmates died there. Overcrowding, lack of food and poor sanitary conditions caused outbreaks of typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever and dysentery, leading to the deaths of more than 35,000 people in the first few months of 1945, shortly before and after the liberation.

    The camp was liberated on April 15, 1945, by the British 11th Armoured Division. The soldiers discovered approximately 60,000 prisoners inside, most of them half-starved and seriously ill, and another 13,000 corpses lying around the camp unburied. The horrors of the camp, documented on film and in pictures, made the name “Belsen” emblematic of Nazi crimes in general for public opinion in many countries in the immediate post-1945 period. Today, there is a memorial with an exhibition hall at the site.

    11,000,000 people were killed in the Holocaust: Jews, ethnic Poles, other Slavic groups, Soviet citizens and prisoners of war, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, black people, and political opponents.

    Under the coordination of the SS, with directions from the highest leadership of the Nazi Party, killings were committed throughout German-occupied Europe, as well as within Germany itself, and across all territories controlled by the Axis powers.

    Germany implemented the persecution in stages. Following Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, the government passed laws to exclude Jews from civil society, most prominently the Nuremberg Laws in 1935. Starting in 1933, the Nazis built a network of concentration camps in Germany for political opponents and people deemed “undesirable”. After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the regime set up ghettos to segregate Jews. Over 42,000 camps, ghettos, and other detention sites were established.

    The deportation of Jews to the ghettos culminated in the policy of extermination the Nazis called the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. In 1941, as German forces captured territories in the East, all anti-Jewish measures were radicalized. Paramilitary units called Einsatzgruppen murdered around two million Jews in mass shootings in less than a year. By mid-1942, victims were being deported from the ghettos in sealed freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, they were killed in gas chambers. The killing continued until the end of World War II in Europe in April–May 1945.

    Reply

  9. TheJamesG

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    I am a grandson of one of ‘the boys’ who came over to lake windmere (UK) after the war. Grandpa was liberated from Theresienstadt. Later this year I am part taking in March of the living and help the Holocaust education which is happing early February. This image engulfs everything which everyone has the duty to stop from happening again. Not one single person will ever deserve to be in that position.

    Reply

  10. sjhamn

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Does anyone have any recommendations for good docs on liberation?

    Reply

  11. Public_Enemy_No2

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Fuck Nazis.

    Reply

  12. _Dayun_

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Damn, they are just leaning back against the barbed wire…

    Reply

  13. meg13ski

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    We need to look at these pictures often so that this can never happen again.

    Reply

  14. MusgraveMichael

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    [First hand account of the soviet officer who was part of the liberation.](https://www.reddit.com/r/history/comments/5powna/how_did_the_red_army_react_when_it_discovered/dcsp2x9/)
    This is an interesting read.

    Reply

  15. rulelondinius

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Wow, another great job Marina

    Reply

  16. -XT-

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Did the people in concentration camps ever fight back in groups?

    Reply

  17. Ranman87

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    And dumbfucks still have the gall and stupidity to deny this even took place.

    Reply

  18. halfpast7

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Everyone but the homosexuals got liberated

    Reply

  19. slurmfactory

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Unbelievable, great colorized pic. Just 60 or so years ago this was happening. Its still happening in North Korea. What a world we live in.

    Reply

  20. t_claus

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Please. Humanity should never forget this.

    Reply

  21. Chip_dirk91

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    To hell to all those that say that this never happened, RIP to all that suffered during WWII

    Reply

  22. smackarony

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Crazy how some people deny the holocaust When pictures like these exist

    Reply

  23. LivingChronically

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    I cannot imagine the utter despair, damage and fear these brave people went through in this, and all camps.
    Heroes, each and every one of them

    Reply

  24. theotherguyagain

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    About two weeks ago, the Austrian secretary of the interior said, that he wants to “concentrate“ refugees. Tomorrow there will be an election in an austrian federal state, one of the candidates is a member of a fraternity, and a journalist recently discovered a song book of this fraternity with songs glorifying the genocide during the second world war. I hope we will never see such pictures again!

    Edit: the last sentence is of course referring to the camps and not the liberation.

    Reply

  25. SecretSquirrel-88

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    I thought Bergen Belsen was liberated by the Brits?

    Reply

  26. derangeddes

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Am I the only one confused by this post? Bergen-belsen was liberated by the British. What has this got to do with the red army and Auschwitz?

    Reply

  27. kmar81

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    On this day in 1945 a concentration camp in occupied Poland was liberated by the Red Army.

    Here’s a picture from a concentration camp in Germany liberated by the British on a completely different day.

    “Logic”

    Reply

  28. Comeback__Kid

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Something that really stuck with me about the liberation of Bergen-Belsen is how some of the survivors were too weak to eat solid food, so the British brought in intravenous drips to feed them. The prisoners became hysterical at the sight of a needle because the SS had used lethal injection to murder some of the other prisoners.

    Reply

  29. UnreachablePaul

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Well, it wasn’t quite liberated. Russians kept enemies to the communist regime for years in that concentration camp.

    Reply

  30. Obscure90sCharacter

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    You know it’s accurate when even the chromatic aberration is correctly colorized.
    That was unexpected.

    Reply

  31. brewmeone

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Imagine what kind of hell that place was to just casually lean against barbed wire while resting.

    Reply

  32. Not_Agnostic_or_am_I

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    I can’t even imagine how relieved they mustve been on this day

    Reply

  33. Anton9000

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Unfortunately, the Soviet Union was known to later repurpose Nazi Concentration Camps and Prisons for their own oppressive purposes.

    So yes they were liberated for sometime but on occasion they were reused for another evil purpose. Many of these new NKVD camps would form part of Russia’s Gulag system: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_special_camps_in_Germany_1945%E2%80%9349

    Edit: People who downvote these comments are just as bad as holocaust deniers.

    Reply

  34. Anonymous

    January 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

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