Liberation of Auschwitz

As Allied troops made their way through Germany territory, they discovered the dark side of Hitler's Third Reich:  Nazi concentration camps.  Hundreds of camps were liberated and, as some soldiers remarked, they saw what evil was all about and knew what they were fighting for.

In support of Hitler's idea of a "master race," the camps were designed to hold the people that Hitler did not deem fit to live in German society.  Jews topped the list, of course. But camps held homosexuals, the disabled, prisoners of war and many others.

Some of the camps were work camps.  Some were extermination camps.  Regardless, the camps represent the dark side of human history.

The largest concentration camp was Auschwitz, located in Poland.  Over 1 million Jews were killed at this camp.  On January 27, 1945 the camp was liberated by Soviet troops.  This day is generally referred top as "Holocaust Remembrance Day."

In the end, the Nazis were responsible for the murders of over 6 million European Jews and another 6 million Poles, Hungarians, homosexuals, disabled, gypsies and political enemies.  

Child survivors of Auschwitz
(Public Domain)