Holocaust Facts
Holocaust Facts

91 Important Holocaust Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published August 19, 2016Updated August 15, 2019
  • The Holocaust began in January 1933 when Hitler came to power and technically ended on May 8, 1945 (VE Day).[9]
  • Over 1.1 million children died during the Holocaust.[3]
  • Young children were particularly targeted by the Nazis to be murdered during the Holocaust. They posed a unique threat because if they lived, they would grow up to parent a new generation of Jews. Many children suffocated in the crowded cattle cars on the way to the camps. Those who survived were immediately taken to the gas chambers.[5]
  • The most intensive Holocaust killing took place in September 1941 at the Babi Yar Ravine just outside of Kiev, Ukraine, where more than 33,000 Jews were killed in just two days. Jews were forced to undress and walk to the ravine’s edge. When German troops shot them, they fell into the abyss. The Nazis then pushed the wall of the ravine over, burying the dead and the living. Police grabbed children and threw them into the ravine as well.[1]
  • In 1946, two partners in a leading pest control company, Tesch and Stabenow (Testa), were tried before a British military court on charges of genocide. It was argued that the accused must have realized that the massive supply of Zyklon B they provided to concentration camps was far above the quantity required for delousing. They were convicted and hanged.[5]
  • Holocaust Statistics
    Over 11 million people were murdered during the Holocaust, including 6 million Jews
  • Between 1933 and 1945, more than 11 million men, women, and children were murdered in the Holocaust. Approximately six million of these were Jews.[6]
  • Prisoners, mainly Jews, called Sonderkommando were forced to bury corpses or burn them in ovens. Because the Nazis did not want eyewitnesses, most Sonderkommandos were regularly gassed, and fewer than 20 of the several thousand survived. Some Sonderkommandos buried their testimony in jars before their deaths. Ironically, the Sonderkommandos were dependent on continued shipment of Jews to the concentration camps for staying alive.[5]
  • The “Final Solution” was constructed during the Wannsee Conference in January 1942. Fourteen high-ranking Nazis met in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, and presented a program to deport all Jews to Poland where the SS would kill them.[6]
  • Kristallnacht or “Night of Broken Glass” occurred throughout Germany and Austria on November 9, 1938, when the Nazis viciously attacked Jewish communities. The Nazis destroyed, looted, and burned over 1,000 synagogues and destroyed over 7,000 businesses. They also ruined Jewish hospitals, schools, cemeteries, and homes. When it was over, 96 Jews were dead and 30,000 arrested.[5]
  • In the initial stages of the destruction of European Jews, the Nazis forced Jews into ghettos and instigated a policy of planned, indirect annihilation by denying them the basic means of survival. In the Warsaw ghetto in Poland, the largest ghetto, about 1% of the population died each month.[6]
  • An estimated 1/3 of all Jewish people alive at that time were murdered in the Holocaust.[5]
  • In his memoirs, Rudolph Hess described the process of tricking the Jews into entering the gas chambers. To avoid panic, they were told they had to undress to be washed and disinfected. The Nazi guards used a “Special Detachment Team” (other Jewish prisoners) to help keep an air of calm and to assist those who were reluctant to undress. Children often cried, but after members of the Special Detachment team comforted them, they entered the gas chambers, playing or joking with one another, often still carrying their toys.[2]
  • Over one million people were murdered at the Auschwitz complex, more than at any other place. The Auschwitz complex included three large camps: Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz.[2]
  • Auschwitz Fact
    Over 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz, of which 90 percent of those murdered were Jewish

  • The word “Holocaust” is from the Greek holo “whole” + kaustos “burnt.” It refers to an animal sacrifice in which the entire animal is burned. It is also known as the Shoah, which is Hebrew for “destruction.” The terms “Shoah” and “Final Solution” always refer to the Nazi extermination of the Jews and “the Holocaust” refers to the overall genocide caused by the Nazis, while the general term “holocaust” can refer to the mass killing of any group by any government.[5]
  • The term “holocaust” became a household word in America when in 1978 NBC television aired the miniseries titled Holocaust. However, Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel called the miniseries, “untrue and offensive.” Wiesel objected to what he thought were historical inaccuracies, German and Jewish stereotypes, “too much drama and not enough documentary.” He also argued that television was an inappropriate medium to portray the Holocaust.[5]
  • Approximately 220,000-500,000 Romanies (Gypsies) were killed during the Holocaust.[1]
  • Unlike other genocides in which victims are often able to escape death by converting to another religion, those of Jewish descent could be spared only if their grandparents had converted to Christianity before January 18, 1871 (the founding of the German Empire).[5]
  • Of the nine million Jews who lived in Europe before the Holocaust, an estimated 2/3 were murdered. Millions of others, including those who were disabled, political and religious opponents to Hitler, Romanies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals, were also murdered.[10]
  • Concentration Camp Facts
    The Holocaust would not have been without mass transportation
  • The majority of people who were deported to labor and death camps were transported in cattle wagons. These wagons did not have water, food, a toilet, or ventilation. Sometimes there were not enough cars for a major transport, so victims waited at a switching yard, often with standing room only, for several days. The longest transport of the war took 18 days. When the transport doors were open, everyone was already dead.[2]
  • Those who survived Dr. Josef Mengele’s experiments were almost always murdered and dissected. Many children were maimed or paralyzed and hundreds died. He was known by children as “Onkel Mengele” and would bring them candy and toys before personally killing them. He later died in a drowning accident in Brazil in 1979.[5]
  • Twins fascinated Nazi doctor Josef Mengele (known as the “Angel of Death”). According to one witness, he sewed together a set of twins named Guido and Ina, who were about 4 years old, from the back in an attempt to create Siamese twins. Their parents were able to get some morphine and kill them to end their suffering.[5]
  • Hitler introduced the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, which made it illegal for Germans to marry or have sex with Jews. It also deprived Jews of their German citizenship and most of their civil rights.[6]
  • The 1940 Nazi pseudo-documentary The Eternal Jew attempted to justify the extermination of Jews from Europe. The movie claimed that Jews were genetically destined to be wandering cultural parasites.[6]
  • On November 11, 1938, Germany enacted the “Regulations Against Jews’ Possession of Weapons,” which made it illegal for Jews to carry firearms or other weapons.[6]
  • Gas in the chambers during the Holocaust entered the lower layers of air first and then rose slowly toward the ceiling, which forced victims to trample one another in an attempt to breathe. Stronger victims were often found on top of the pile of bodies.[5]
  • Muselmann (German for “Muslim”) was slang for concentration camp victims who gave up any hope of survival. They would squat with their legs tucked in an “Oriental” fashion, with their shoulders curved and their head dropped and overcome by despair. Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi stated that if he could “enclose all the evil of our time in one image, I would choose this image.”[7]
  • Holocaust Extermination Fact
    It took between 3-15 minutes to kill everyone in the gas chamber
  • Carbon monoxide was originally used in gas chambers. Later, the insecticide Zyklon B was developed to kill inmates. Once the inmates were in the chamber, the doors were screwed shut and pellets of Zyklong B were dropped into vents in the side of the walls, releasing toxic gas. SS doctor Joann Kremmler reported that victims would scream and fight for their lives. Victims were found half-squatting in the standing room only chambers, with blood coming out their ears and foam out of their mouths.[2]
  • Hitler was able to build a network of over 1,000 concentration camps in several ways. First, he established a legal basis for acts of brutal inhumanity by creating the Enabling Act, which allowed him to do whatever he wanted. Second, he used propaganda and media to dehumanize Jewish people and, finally, he used a system of brutality to terrorize the people into submission.[5]
  • Approximately 100,000 Jews died during “death marches.”[10]
  • The first concentration camp was Dachau. The first arrivals to Dachau were political opponents of Hitler who were placed there in protective custody, including communists, socialists, and political Catholics. Later, it was used as an extermination camp for Jews.[2]
  • The soldiers who patrolled and operated concentration camps were known as Totenkopfverbande, or “Death’s Head” detachments. They wore skull-and-crossbones insignias on their uniforms to reflect their namesake.[5]
  • As Jews fled Europe under Hitler’s rule, representatives from 32 countries met in Evian, France, in 1938 to discuss the growing refugee crisis in Europe. Representatives from Great Britain said it had no room to accommodate Jewish refugees. The Australians said, “We don’t have a racial problem and we don’t want to import one.” Canada said of the Jews that “none was too many.” Holland and Demark offered temporary asylum, but only for a few refugees. Only the Dominican Republic offered to take 100,000 Jews, but their relief agencies were so overwhelmed that only a few Jews could take advantage of the offer. A German foreign officer wrote a letter essentially saying that, in light of such responses, the world could not blame them [the Nazis] for not wanting the Jews.[5]
  • Soviet soldiers were the first to liberate the death camps. On July 23, 1944, they liberated Majdanek. Most of the world initially refused to believe the Soviet reports of the horrors they found there.[1]
  • Holocaust Aftermath Facts
    Thousands of concentration camp prisoners died within their first week of freedom from malnutrition and disease

  • Einsatzgruppen (“task forces”) were mobile killing vans, which were regular trucks with the exhaust pipes redirected into the cargo area. Jews were herded into these trucks, sometimes 90 at a time. The Einsatzgruppen killed over 1.2 million Jews.[9]
  • During the Holocaust, Nazi Germany became a genocide state, a government dedicated to the annihilation of the Jews. Every arm of the government played a role. Parish churches provided the birth records of the Jews. The Finance Ministry took Jewish wealth and property. Universities researched more efficient ways to murder. And government transportation bureaus paid for the trains that carried the Jews to their death.[10]
  • There were several types of concentration camps during the Holocaust, including transit camps, prisoner of war camps, and police detention camps. Six camps served as the main killing centers, all in Poland: Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Chelmno, Auschwitz/Birkenau, and Majdanek. The last two were also slave labor camps.[2]
  • More than 870,000 Jews were killed at Treblinka with a staff of just 150 people. There were fewer than 100 known survivors of Treblinka.[5]
  • At Birkenau (Auschwitz II) alone over 1.1 million Jews were murdered in addition to 20,000 Poles, 19,000 Gypsies, and 12,000 Russian prisoners of war.[2]
  • At the entrance to each death camp, there was a process of Selektion or Selection. Pregnant women, small children, the sick or handicapped, and the elderly were immediately condemned to death.[2]
  • Concentration camp laborers were forced to run in front of SS officers to show that they still had strength. The SS officers directed the runners into one of two lines. One line went to the gas chambers. The other went back to the barracks. The runners did not know which line went where.[5]
  • Nazi Gold Facts
    The Nazi-era witnessed the direct and indirect theft of over $150 billion of tangible assets of victims of Nazi persecution
  • During the Holocaust, the Nazis looted everything they could from their victims, including wedding rings, watches, precious stones, and eyeglasses.[2]
  • During the Holocaust, the most respected German corporations used slave labor, including BMW, Daimler-Benz (Mercedes-Benz), Messerschmitt, and Krupp. Though they were not forced to use slaves, they nevertheless used them as “good business practice.” Additionally, I.G. Farben, a German chemical industry conglomerate, invested more than 700 million Reich marks (German dollars) to build a huge petrochemical plant at Auschwitz III, which was staffed by human slaves.[5]
  • Auschwitz was the largest and highly organized death camp in history. It was actually three camps: a concentration camp, a death camp, and a slave labor camp. It was 19 square miles, guarded by 6,000 men, and was located in the Polish town of Oswiecim. It was opened June 1940 and initially held 728 Polish prisoners. By 1945, more than 1.25 million people had been killed there and 100,000 worked as slave laborers.[2]
  • At Auschwitz, thousands of prisoners were sterilized using radiation. Additionally, children of African-German origin and the mentally or physically handicapped were surgically sterilized, often brutally.[2]
  • Signs on the entrance to the gas chambers read: “Baths and disinfecting rooms.” Other notices read: “Cleanliness brings freedom!” It took 20 minutes to kill everyone in the chamber. The chambers at Auschwitz/Birkenau could kill 6,000 people a day.[2]
  • The Nazis would process Holocaust victims’ hair into felt and thread. Hair was also used to make socks for submarine crews, ignition mechanisms in bombs, ropes and cords for ships, and stuffing for mattresses. Camp commanders were required to submit monthly reports on the amount of hair collected.[5]
  • British troops liberating Bergen-Belsen found that the Nazis had experimented using human skin for lampshades.[5]
  • Holocaust Interesting Fact
    When Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek camps, they found hundreds of thousands of shoes, but very few living prisoners
  • When Soviet troops entered Birkenau on January 18, 1945, they found 358,000 men’s suits, 837,000 women’ outfits, and 15,400 pounds of human hair packed into paper bags. The Nazis were saving them in warehouses for future use.[5]
  • Six million is the minimum number of Jews killed by the Nazis. Thousands of infants and babies were killed before their births could be recorded.[5]
  • The first instance of mass murder by gas under Hitler’s rule occurred on November 15, 1939, at the Owinksi psychiatric hospital near Poznan. The 1,100 victims, including 78 children, were Polish mental patients, and the gas used was carbon monoxide.[5]
  • The first mass gassing of Jews took place in the Chelmno extermination camp.[5]
  • To further the façade of “cleanliness,” SS men dressed as doctors pretended to “examine” the victims before they were unknowingly gassed. The real purpose of the procedure was to mark victims who had gold teeth in their mouths so their corpses could be set aside after gassing.[9]
  • Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945) was the Nazi minister of propaganda and, prior to 1933, head of the Nazi organization in Berlin. He committed suicide along with his wife and six children in Berlin during the last week of the war.[10]
  • Those who deny the Holocaust argue that the Nazi concept of a Final Solution always meant only the emigration of the Jews, not their extermination. The Jews “missing” from Europe after 1945 are assumed to have resurfaced in the U.S., Israel, and elsewhere as illegal immigrants. For many deniers or “revisionists,” the Holocaust was invented by the Jews to serve their own financial and political ends.[5]
  • More than half of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust were women. Most women with small children were immediately sent to the gas chambers as children were nearly useless to the Nazis and the commotion that separating the women and children might have caused would have jeopardized the efficiency of the killing process. Women were also singled out for experiments in contraception and fertility. Additionally, mothers with babies and other children too young to control their crying had trouble finding hideouts during round-ups to avoid being sent to the camps.[5]
  • Holocaust Women Fact
    Soldiers executed women in mass shooting operations at hundreds of locations

  • In one infamous concentration camp experiment, newborn babies were taken away from nursing mothers to see how long they could survive without feeding.[5]
  • After concentration camps were liberated, thousands of people who had been starved, beaten, and worked to exhaustion died within their first week of freedom. In Dachau, the daily death rate in the days following liberation was 200, and in Bergen-Belsen it was 300. Some Jews who were liberated from concentration camps died from overeating sweets and chocolate provided by friendly soldiers.[5]
  • Bergen-Belson was the first camp to be liberated by Western Allied officers on April 15, 1945. Originally designed to house 10,000 prisoners, by the last weeks of the war, it held 41,000.b[2]
  • Adolf Eichmann (1906-62) was an SS officer who directed the implementation of the Final Solution. At the end of war, he escaped to South America, but in 1960, the Israeli secret service captured him in Argentina and secretly removed him to Israel. In 1961, he was tried and convicted of crimes against humanity. He was hanged in 1962.[5]
  • One observer in 1959 noticed that the dirt at the Treblinka concentration camp was not brown but gray. As he felt the dirt trickle through his fingers, he realized the earth was “coarse and sharp and filled with the fragments of human bone.”[5]
  • At Dachau, the Nazis researched ways to stop a bullet wound from bleeding out. They would administer chemicals such as polygala-10 to prisoners and then shoot various parts of their bodies. The prisoners usually died from their injuries within a few moments.[5]
  • Porrajmos is the Romany term for the Holocaust and means “devouring.”[5]
  • More than half a million people visit the site of the former concentration camp Auschwitz every year.[2]
  • To forget a Holocaust is to kill twice.

    - Elie Wiesel

  • Between 1945 and 1985, approximately 5,000 convicted Nazi war criminals were executed and 10,000 were imprisoned.[10]
  • The Holocaust gave new urgency to the Jewish quest for a homeland in the Middle East. The Yishuv, or Jewish community in Palestine, stood ready to take them, but the British who governed the region restricted immigration to keep peace with the local Arabs. On November 29, 1947, Resolution 181 was enforced. It called for the partition of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab, and developed a plan for ending British rule.[10]
  • In August 1945, the Allied powers created the International War Crimes Tribunal, which included judges from the U.S., Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and France. Never before in history had the losers of a nation at war been held to answer for their crimes before an international court.[1]
  • After the Holocaust, the U.N. formed the Commission of Human Rights in June 1946. In December 1948, the Commission approved two historic agreements: the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[10]
  • When an injured and dying former SS man asked Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal for forgiveness for his role in wiping out the entire Jewish population in a small Ukrainian town, Wiesenthal answered with silence rather than forgiveness. Haunted by the experience, Wiesenthal asked religious leaders, human rights activists, and others to comment on his choice. He collected their response and his own essay in The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness, which is now a classic of Holocaust literature.[10]
  • Holocaust Himmler Fact
    The personification of evil, Heinrich Himmler was one of the primary people responsible for the Holocaust
  • Heinrich Himmler was the Nazi leader more directly involved than any other officer during the Holocaust. He established Dachau, the first concentration camp in Germany, and the extermination camps in Eastern Europe. Himmler was captured by the British at the end of the war, but he committed suicide before he could be brought to trial.[10]
  • Holocaust survivor Yehuda Bacon, who spent his early teens in concentration camps, recounted that he burst out laughing during the first funeral procession he saw after liberation. “People are crazy,” he said. “For one person they make a casket and play solemn music? A few weeks ago I saw thousands of bodies piled up to be burnt like so much junk.”[10]
  • After WWII, the Allies grappled with whether to hold only the Nazi leaders accountable for the Holocaust or the whole German nation.[1]
  • After the war, squads of militant Jews spread over Europe and attempted to track down and execute SS officers in hiding. A Lithuanian Jew named Abba Kovner (1918-1987) formed the Avengers, a group of former ghetto fighters and partisans. They sought revenge not just against the Nazis but the entire German nation.[1]
  • After the war, the Allies felt that the German people should know the crimes committed during the Holocaust. Many citizens were forced to view bodies found at the concentration camps.[10]
  • During the de-Nazification of Germany after the war, the three Western powers (U.S., Great Britain, Russia), sentenced over 3.4 million former Nazis to some type of punishment. They also revoked race laws and other repressive measures, disbanded Nazi organizations, and eliminated “racial science” instruction from school.[5]
  • German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) acknowledged guilt for the Holocaust and agreed to pay damages to individual Holocaust survivors. Over time, thousands of survivors qualified, and in 1954 the West German government paid out $6 million in pensions. By 1961, the total was up $100 million. The agreement made it clear that reparations did not lesson German guilt or repay Jewish suffering.[5]
  • On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, sirens all over Israel sound at 10 a.m. for two minutes.[1]
  • The 1991 film The Eighty-First Blow is a film about the disbelief and even hostility that many Holocaust survivors encountered after the Holocaust.[5]
  • The Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem (Hebrew for “Memorial [or Hand] and Name,” taken from the Biblical verse Isaiah 56:5), the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, includes the names of over 10,000 people who risked their lives to save the Jews during the Holocaust. In Hebrew, these heroes are called Hasidei Umot Haolam, or the “Righteous among Nations of the World.”[10]
  • IBM Holocaust Fact
    IBM used its punch card technology and its information technology to systematize and accelerate Hitler’s anti-Jewish program
  • Material published in 2001 alleged that IBM, the American computer company, had developed punch card technology to make selection of Holocaust victims more efficient. A Romany organization planned to sue IBM for its role. The case was later dropped.[5]
  • General Eisenhower ordered every citizen of the German town of Gotha to tour the concentration camp Ohrdruf (a subcamp of Buchenwald). After the mayor of the town and his wife did so, they went home and hanged themselves.[4]
  • When General Eisenhower learned about the Ohrdruf concentration camp, he ordered every American soldier in the area who was not on the front lines to visit the camp. He said that if they did not know what they were fighting for, now they would know “what they were fighting against.”[4]
  • At some concentration camps, selected prisoners were used for medical experimentation, including exposing the body to various conditions such as high altitude, freezing temperatures, and extreme atmospheric pressure. Others underwent experiments with diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, and malaria.[2]
  • While most Holocaust deniers, or “revisionists,” acknowledge that the Jews suffered during WWII, they disagree with the features that made the Holocaust a unique event in human history by denying that (1) the Holocaust was an efficient and organized program of genocide, (2) that six million Jews were murdered, and (3) that the Final Solution was a plan for the complete destruction of the Jews.[5]
  • On December 17, 1942, the Western Allies publicly denounced the massacre of the Jewish people, but they failed to do anything about it.[5]
  • The 1985 film Shoah by Claude Lanzmann is nine hours long and consists entirely of interviews with people who witnessed the Holocaust first hand.[5]
  • In letters and documents discussing the Holocaust, the Nazis never used words as “extermination” or “killing.” Instead, they used code words such as “final solution,” “evacuation,” or “special treatment.”[5]
  • Pink Triangle Holocaust Fact
    Many homosexual Holocaust survivors were re-imprisoned and remained deviants in the eyes of post-war society
  • The Nazis sent 10,000-15,000 homosexuals to concentration camps where they were forced to wear pink triangles. The Nazis also carried out pseudo-research to find out if homosexuality was inherited by injecting them with male hormones. They offered homosexuals their freedom if they would agree to be castrated or submit themselves to sexual abuse and prostitution. Under these conditions, an estimated 6,000-9,000 homosexual inmates died in the camps.[5]
  • Though he was offered sanctuary on the “Aryan side,” Polish teacher Janusz Korczak voluntarily left with the children from his orphanage when they were deported to extermination camps. It is believed that he died in August 1942 at the Treblinka concentration camp.[5]
  • Victims at some concentration camps were injected with the bacterium that produces gas gangrene so Nazi doctors could research the effectiveness of sulfanilamide in preventing infection and mortification. Several women prisoners died or were severely burned as a result of infections caused by the treatment of high doses of sulfanilamide.[5]
  • Many Jewish children who were hidden in Christian families during the Holocaust were unaware of their Jewish heritage and remained with their foster parents. Some children became so close to their foster parents that they did not want to leave to rejoin their other surviving family members.[5]
  • To refute Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim that the Holocaust never happened, prominent Muslims joined Jews and Christians at the former concentration camp Auschwitz in February 2011 to honor Jewish Holocaust victims.[8]
  • Main Concentration Camps and Associated Deaths[2]
    Important Dates[2][10]
    January 30, 1933Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany
    March 22, 1933Dachau, the first concentration camp, is opened
    March 23, 1933Enabling Act is passed, giving Hitler absolute power
    September 15, 1935First of the Nuremberg Laws is published, taking rights away from Jews and forbidding marriage between Jews and “Aryans”
    November 9-10, 1938Kristallnacht: Also known as “Night of Broken Glass,” Nazi-instigated rampage against Jewish shops in Germany and Austria ends with the arrest of over 30,000 Jews and destruction of their homes and businesses
    September 1, 1939German invasion of Poland starts WWII
    January 1940The Nazis begin a program of gassing the mentally disabled in Germany
    June 14, 1940Auschwitz concentration camp is opened in Poland as a prison for Poles and an outstation for colonization of the East
    June 22, 1941The Germans and their allies invade the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. SS units known as Einsatzgruppen are ordered to follow the advancing armies and kill all Soviet Jews
    September 3, 1941First gassings with Zyklon-B at Auschwitz
    September 28-30, 1941Over 33,000 Soviet Jews are massacred and buried in a mass grave at Babi Yar, outside Kiev, Ukraine
    January 20, 1942Wannsee Conference discusses the “Final Solution”
    November 3, 1943Operation Harvest Festival: 18,000-40,000 Jews at Majdanek concentration camp are massacred
    November 29, 1944Last gassings at Auschwitz; camp is ordered to be evacuated on January 19, 1945
    January 27, 1945Auschwitz is liberated by Russians
    April 30, 1945Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker
    May 5-8, 1945Mauthausen and its satellites, the last remaining concentration camp, is liberated by the U.S.
    May 8, 1945Allies accept Germany’s unconditional surrender
    November 20, 1945-October 1, 1946War criminals are tried at Nuremberg

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