Slideshow Liberation

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  • In 1944-1945 advancing Allied armies happened upon the concentration camps en route to victory, in a race to Berlin. For the liberators it was an encounter with unimaginable evil, skeletons of men and women, piles of bodies, the overwhelming stench of death. Trained as fighters, they had to become healers.

    Prisoners liberated from Ebensee, a sub-camp of the Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria, 1945

  • For the survivor, liberation was bittersweet; it signified the end of killing but also a realization of what was lost--parents and children, brothers and sisters, entire communities, a way of life.

    Four survivors of the Buchenwald concentration camp, April 1945 / USHMM

  • As survivors allowed themselves to feel, they felt empty. Viktor Frankl, Austrian psychiatrist and author of Man's Search for Meaning, observed: "We did not yet belong to this world. Only later - and for some it was much later or never - was liberation actually liberating."

    Child survivors walk out of the children's barracks in Auschwitz, January 1945 / USHMM