Photos show the horrors of Auschwitz, the largest and worst Nazi concentration camp 78 years after its liberation

View of Auschwitz II

Aerial view of the Auschwitz II Birkenau extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland, December 19, 2019.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

  • It’s been 78 years since Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp.

  • First established in 1940, Auschwitz contained a concentration camp, a large gas chamber and a crematoria.

  • Over 1.1 million people were murdered at Auschwitz, including nearly 1 million Jews.

It was the greatest tragedy of the Holocaust. In just five years he murdered over a million people in Auschwitz, the largest and worst Nazi concentration camp.

Auschwitz Founded in 1940, it was located on the outskirts of Oswiecim, a Polish city annexed by Germany. Between 1940 and 1945 it came to include three main camp centers and numerous subcamps. Each was used for forced labor, torture, and genocide.

An estimated 1.3 million people were deported and about 1.1 million died during the five years of operation at Auschwitz.

The terror at Auschwitz finally subsided on January 27, 1945, when Soviet forces liberated the remaining prisoners. 7,000 prisoners from camp.

To mark the 78th anniversary of this liberation, these photographs show the horror and history of Auschwitz.

Auschwitz was founded in 1940 on the outskirts of Oswiecim, Poland. During his first year, officials cleared 15 square miles of him for camp.

Ariel's view of Auschwitz, 2019 (Christopher Furlong: Getty Images)

Aerial view of the Auschwitz II Birkenau extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland, December 19, 2019.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Auschwitz I, the first camp to be built, was originally created for three reasons: to imprison the enemy, to use forced labor, and to kill certain groups.

Updated size of barracks photo

A crematorium near Gas Chamber 1 of the former Nazi Auschwitz 1 concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland, Sunday, December 8, 2019.Marcus Schreiber/AP

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum

Construction of the largest camp, Auschwitz II, also known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, began in October 1941. Electrified barbed wire divided the camp into ten sections.

Updated the size of the Prison Barracks Ruins (AP Markus Schreiber)

The remains of the brick-stone chimneys of the prisoner barracks can be seen inside the former Nazi death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau or Auschwitz II.Marcus Schreiber/AP

sauce: Jewish virtual library, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The various subdivisions of Auschwitz-Birkenau are divided into “women’s, men’s, families’ camps for Roma (Gypsies) expelled from the German, Austrian, Bohemian and Moravian protectorates, Jewish families exiled from the Theresienstadt ghetto It was for a camp. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

woman in barracks

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sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The prisoners were placed in poorly constructed wooden barracks with 36 bunks each. From 5 he was packed with 6 prisoners and in each unit he had over 500 prisoners.

Inmate lying on bed after release (Reuters Pictures Archive).JPG

Reuters photo archive

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Inmates selected for forced labor had tattoos and serial numbers sewn onto their uniforms. Auschwitz was the only concentration camp to do this.

prisoner tattoo

Auschwitz concentration camp survivor Eva Behar shows off her number tattoo at her home in London, England, December 1, 2014.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Shortly after its construction, Auschwitz-Birkenau became Europe’s largest extermination camp and the center of the Jewish extermination.

Corpses of prisoners shortly after the camp was liberated


sauce: Jewish Heritage Museum

In 1942, two farmhouses just outside the camp were converted into gas chambers.

View of Ariel in the gas chamber 2019 (Christopher Furlong: Getty Images)

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

However, these gas chambers were too small as Auschwitz-Birkenau became the center of mass murder. From March 1943 to June he built four new rooms, each with a dressing area, a gas chamber and an incinerator.

Auschwitz victims shoes

Shoes of the exterminated victims of Auschwitz.Rolf Venenbernd/Photo Alliance via Getty Images

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

As millions of people were murdered, piles of glasses, razors, shoes and other belongings were left behind.

Remains of glasses of murdered people (REUTERS:Pawel Ulatowski).JPG

Remains of spectacles of people exterminated at Auschwitz.Pavel Uratovsky/Reuters

In 1942 Auschwitz III, also known as Buna or Monowitz, was opened near the town of Monowice to house more forced laborers.

Barracks Auschwitz II

Photo of Ariel in the Auschwitz Barracks taken on December 15, 2019 in Oswiecim, Poland.Pablo Gonzalez/AFP via Getty Images

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Between 1942 and 1944, 44 sub-camps with different specialties were established at Auschwitz. The Nazis forced prisoners of war to work on large farms, coal mines, weapons production, and basically anything the German army needed for war.

Women deemed suitable for work at Auschwitz

Photograph taken at Auschwitz in May 1944 of a woman judged suitable for the job.AFP via Getty Images

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

An estimated 1.3 million people were sent to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945. About 1.1 million people died.

Resized corpses of women and dead children found after liberation

Bodies of women and children who died in the cold at Auschwitz.Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

sauce: Jewish Heritage Museum



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sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Soviet soldiers arriving at the main gates of Auschwitz during liberation (REUTERS:HO AUSCHWITZ MUSEUM REUTERS).JPG

[SovietsoldiersarrivingatthegatesofAuschwitz1945[1945年、アウシュヴィッツの門に到着するソ連兵。Reuters: HO Auschwitz Museum Reuters

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

When the Soviet soldiers arrived, there were only 6,000 to 7,000 prisoners left. The majority of them faced hunger, disease and death.

15-year-old boy rescued in Auschwitz

Sovfoto/Universal Image Group/Getty Images

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

According to available records, at least 700 young prisoners were still in the camp when the soldiers arrived, half of them Jewish.

surviving children

[ChildrenliberatedbytheRedArmyfromAuschwitzconcentrationcamponJanuary271945[1945年1月27日にアウシュヴィッツ強制収容所から赤軍によって解放された子供たち。TASS via Getty Images

sauce: Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum

In many cases, the released children were malnourished, severely frail, vitamin deficient, and sick. Of her 180 children tested after release, 40% had tuberculosis.

Jewish children in Auschwitz

[JewishchildrensurvivorsofAuschwitzwithanursebehindabarbedwirefencePolandFebruary1945][1945年2月、ポーランド、有刺鉄線のフェンスの後ろで看護師と一緒にいる、アウシュヴィッツの生存者であるユダヤ人の子供たち。Gallery Bilderwelt/Getty Images

sauce: Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum

Immediately after liberation, many of the children were sent to hospitals organized by the Soviet Army and the Polish Red Cross.

Photo of survivors after liberation (Julian Stratenschulte: picture Alliance via Getty Images)

Holocaust survivor Rachel Rubin shows a photo of herself as a 14-year-old girl shortly after her liberation in 1945.Photo Alliance for Julian Stratenschulte/Getty Images

In 2016, a group of children who survived the horrors of Auschwitz gathered together for a photo.

Images of survivors and children of Auschwitz

Paula Lebovich, 81, Miriam Ziegler, 79, Gabor Hirsch, 85, and Eva Coe, 80, pose in original images of children taken in Auschwitz during liberation. January 26, 2015 in Krakow, Poland.Ian Gavan/Getty Images

A total of 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. His one-sixth of these exterminations occurred at Auschwitz alone.

Survivor photo (Scott Barbour: Getty Images)

On December 10, 2004, photographs of different faces of men, women and children from Auschwitz 2 were exhibited at the Birkenau Museum.Scott Barber/Getty Images

sauce: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

In memory of this momentous tragedy, world leaders will gather in Israel in 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp.

Putin attends 75th anniversary celebrations in Israel (Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Israel for a working visit to attend the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.Mikhail Metzel/Tas via Getty Images

On January 27, 2023, Holocaust survivors gathered in Oswiecim, Poland, for a ceremony marking the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

78th anniversary of Auschwitz - Holocaust survivor wearing a striped scarf during the liberation of Birkenau

Holocaust survivors wearing striped scarves attend a ceremony for the 78th anniversary of Auschwitz – Liberation of Birkenau and Holocaust Remembrance Day.Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Holocaust survivors and former Auschwitz inmates lay wreaths in front of the Wall of Death in memory of the thousands who died in former Nazi concentration camps, as world leaders join world leaders in a candle ceremony. bottom.

Auschwitz 78th Anniversary - Israeli Flags and Candles at Birkenau Liberation Ceremony

Israeli flags and candles are seen during the Auschwitz 78th Anniversary – Birkenau Liberation Ceremony and Holocaust Remembrance Day in Brezinka, Poland, January 27, 2023.Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Editor’s Note: This list was first published in January 2020 and has been updated to reflect recent developments.

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