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Holocaust Memorial Education Center

Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center

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“The things I saw beggar description…. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were… overpowering….I made the visit deliberately in order to be in a position to give firsthand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’”

—General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a letter to Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, April 15, 1945

General Dwight D. Eisenhower (center), Supreme Allied Commander, views the corpses of inmates who perished at the Ohrdruf camp. Ohrdruf, Germany, April 12, 1945.
— National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.

In 2015 the world marked the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe—and, with it, the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps by Allied forces. Listed here are dates of liberation of some of the camps:

July 23–24, 1944: Soviet forces liberated Lublin-Majdanek

January 27, 1945: Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau

February 13, 1945: Soviet forces liberated Gross-Rosen

April 4, 1945: US forces liberated Ohrdruf, a subcamp of Buchenwald

April 11, 1945: US forces liberated Buchenwald and Dora-Mittelbau

April 12, 1945: Canadian forces liberated Westerbork

April 15, 1945: British forces liberated Bergen-Belsen

April 22, 1945: Units of the First and 47th Polish Armies, operating under overall Soviet command liberated Sachsenhausen

April 23, 1945: US forces liberated Flossenbürg

April 29, 1945: Soviet forces liberated Ravensbrück; US forces liberated Dachau

May 4, 1945: British forces liberated Neuengamme

May 6, 1945: US forces liberated Mauthausen

On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender became official.

Copyright © United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC

A Soviet soldier walks through a mound of victims’ shoes piled outside a warehouse in Majdanek soon after the liberation. Majdanek, Poland, August 1944.
Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Encyclopedia, “Commemorating Liberation”, www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007051