General Dwight D. Eisenhower (center), Supreme Allied Commander, views the corpses of inmates who perished at the Ohrdruf camp. Ohrdruf, Germany, April 12, 1945.
National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.
“The things I saw beggar description.... The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were... overpowering....I made the visit deliberately in order to be in a position to give firsthand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’”
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a letter to Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, April 15, 1945
In the spring of 2005 the world marked the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe—and, with it, the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps by Allied forces. Listed here are dates of liberation of some of the camps:
July 24, 1944: Soviet forces liberate Majdanek
January 27, 1945: Soviet forces liberate Auschwitz-Birkenau
February 13, 1945: Soviet forces liberate Gross-Rosen
April 4, 1945: American forces liberate Ohrdruf, a subcamp of Buchenwald
April 12, 1945: Canadian forces liberate Westerbork
April 15, 1945: British forces liberate Bergen-Belsen
April 22, 1945: Soviet forces liberate Sachsenhausen
April 23, 1945: American forces liberate Flossenbürg
May 4, 1945: British forces liberate Neuengamme
May 6, 1945: American forces liberate Mauthausen
On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender became official.