On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz Birkenau Death Camp. Actually “liberated” is the wrong word. Opened the gates of hell is more appropriate a term.

The numbers of murdered are staggering. According to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust nearly a quarter of the 6 million Jews killed in Holocaust were mass murdered there, most in gas chambers. Of the 400,000 political prisoners brought to Auschwitz, only 65,000 left alive; of the 16,000 Soviet POWs, 96 returned home.

Stalin was reported to have said, “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic.”

But these statistics further illuminate the capacity of humankind to do evil:

Between Dec 1, 1944 and January 15th, 1945, 514,843 pieces of men, women’s and children’s clothing were shipped to Germany from Auschwitz. In the warehouses, Soviet troops found over a million men’s suits, women’s dresses and baby clothing, thousands of pairs of shoes and 7.7 tons of human hair.


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