January 27, 1945
The Auschwitz concentration camp is overtaken by Soviet soldiers, liberating the starving survivors
When the Nazis received information Soviet forces were making their way to Auschwitz (they had already liberated Warsaw and Krakow), soldiers tried eliminating as much evidence of their war crimes as possible, including shooting prisoners, burning evidence, and destroying crematories. Soviet soldiers were greeted by 648 bodies and over 7,000 survivors.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Communist doctors examine survivors
A photo highlights how emaciated the survivors were.
Bags of hair were found during the liberation. Some have claimed the hair was woven, ironically, into hairnets. A more likely reason was to prevent the spread of lice among prisoners. Either way, 7 tons of bagged human hair were found.