History of a man-made Hell

Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, January 27, 1945

Prisoners liberated at Auschwitz main camp

Gypsy children at Birkenau death camp

In February 1945, shortly after the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Union made a film which showed the survivors of the camp. The photos above are still shots from the film. The photo immediately above shows Gypsy children who had allegedly been subjected to Nazi medical experiments. Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Hoess claimed that these children were suffering from a disease called Noma which was similar to leprosy.

The Soviet film showed male prisoners who had allegedly been sterilized in medical experiments done at the Auschwitz camp.

Soviet doctor examines an Auschwitz survivor

The photo below shows a young survivor being cared for by a Soviet doctor wearing an arm band.

Soviet doctors carry young survivor out of building at Auschwitz main camp

Only a few dead bodies, including some that were lying in the snow, are shown in the Soviet film, and there are no prisoners shown who were dying of typhus, as in the Dachau or Bergen-Belsen camps.

Dead bodies found in the snow near the barracks at Birkenau

Soviet soldiers interview survivors at the Birkenau death camp

The Soviet movie about the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau shows that few of the recently liberated prisoners were cheering or smiling; some of them looked angry, especially the woman in the photograph below, who is shown in the movie standing perfectly still with a hostile expression on her face. The film shows a whole crowd of survivors, wrapped in heavy blankets, who appear to be angry or unhappy, maybe because they had been dragged out of their beds to pose for the cameras.

Auschwitz survivor shown in Russian liberation movie

Hungarian Jewish women arrive in Birkenau, May 26, 1944

The woman on the right in the front row, the one wearing a black coat, might be the same woman who is shown in the previous photo, standing at the barbed wire fence after the liberation of Birkenau. If it is the same woman, she has aged 10 years after being in the camp for only eight months.

Ruins of gas chamber at Birkenau, January 1945

After the Germans had abandoned the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex and marched thousands of the prisoners out on January 18, 1945, they came back on January 20 and blew up two of the crematoria buildings where the underground gas chambers were located. The photo above shows the ruins of one of these buildings with an unidentified building still standing in the background.

The ruins of two of the gas chamber buildings are shown in the two photos below.

Ruins of gas chamber building #2 at Birkenau

Ruins of gas chamber building #5 at Birkenau


Death Statistics

History of Auschwitz

Auschwitz II - aka Birkenau

Selections for gas chamber or labor

Auschwitz III - aka Monowitz

Monowitz gas chamber?

Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau


This page was last updated on January 01, 2010