january 27 is holocaust remembrance day. it was on this day in 1945 that the soviet army liberated auschwitz concentration camp. it is estimated that at least 1.3 million people were deported to auschwitz between 1940 and 1945. of these, a minimum of 1.1 million were murdered.
it’s worth noting that the u.s. state department knew about the genocide as early as 1942, but actively sought to suppress its public knowledge. also of note, the war department declined to bomb the extermination facilities and the railway lines leading to auschwitz because it was deemed “too far a flight”, even though u.s. bombers flew directly over the camp to bomb oil factories only 5km away.
in 1955, an exhibition at the camp opened to the public, displaying such things as prisoner mug shots; hair (of which almost eight tonnes was found by the red army) and shoes taken from murdered prisoners; and canisters of zyklon b pellets used for gassing.
the sign seen at the gates of base camp reads arbeit macht frei, or “work makes you free”. built by prisoner-labourers, there is speculation the upside down ‘B’ was done on purpose as a signal to new arrivals about what was actually happening behind the facility’s gates.
to learn more, see “auschwitz: the nazis and ‘the final solution" (bbc, 2005), "escape from auschwitz" (secrets of the dead, 2011), "america and the holocaust: deceit and indifference" (american experience, 1994) (william j vanden heuvel’s response), and “god on trial" (masterpiece, 2008). photos by bruno tamiozzo
Auschwitz-Birkenau, then and now.
Anneliese Kohlmann, Charlotte Pliquet, Ilse Förster and Elisabeth Volkenrath bury the dead in Mass Grave 2 at Auschwitz Birkenau. 1945
Auschwitz Birkenau - Trees and Wire Fence
Arbeit Macht Frei
Work makes you FREE
Please DO NOT reblog this if you are some kind of Nazi Sympathiser - it makes me sick each time i see one of you re-posting one of my photos for that kind of purpose… This is not a place to be celebrated and I posted it in recognition of the suffering my family and their people went through, to mock or mimick is digusting and disrespectful.
The entrance to Birkenau, “Gate of Death”
Watchtower in Auschwitz concentration camp
Canon EOS 500D + OM Zuiko 28mm 2.8
© Łukasz Furczyk
The holocaust of Gardelegen took place on April 13, 1945. German SS guards tried to burn between 500 and 1,000 prisoners to prevent their being liberated by advancing Americans.