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Saturday marks 75 years since the death marches from Auschwitz concentration camp

Posted at 7:57 AM, Jan 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-19 09:41:49-05

As the end of World War II began to approach, forces began working to close Nazi concentration camps. As a way to try to combat this Nazi forces began trying to move prisoners from camps. Some taken by foot known as death marches, and others moved by train.

The Auschwitz death march was the largest death march and took place in the winter of 1944-1945, when the Soviet army began liberating the concentration camps in Poland.

Tens of thousands of prisoners were taken on these death marches toward Wodzislaw which was more than 30 miles away. According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia, 25% of those prisoners taken on the death march from Auschwitz died.

Once the surviving prisoners made it to Wodzislaw they were placed on trains and taken to concentration camps in Germany, mostly to Flossenbuerg, Sachsenhausen (location of photos for this story), Gross-Rosen, Buchenwald, Dachau, and Mauthausen.

The remaining few prisoners at Auschwitz were liberated on Jan. 27, 1945. The concentration camp in Sachsenhausen was not liberated until 1950.

To learn more about the history of the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum click here.

To learn more about the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp click here.

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