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1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 543 
The Majdanek death camp in eastern Poland was the first of the camps liberated by the Allies, on July 23, 1944. Pictured are corpses in Majdanek that the Germans had exhumed, hoping to burn them before the Russians arrived. Often, as was the case here, the Soviet offensives advanced so quickly that the Red Army showed up before the Germans could complete their grisly task.
Photo: Corbis-Bettmann
The Nazis often used incinerators, such as these in Majdanek, to burn the bodies of their victims. In the end, however, the number of victims was too great even for this relatively "efficient" method of corpse disposal. The Allies found hundreds of thousands of cadavers in the camps that they liberated.
Photo: Corbis-Bettmann
In Theresienstadt, the Nazis' "model" ghetto and concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, extensive attempts were made to create the illusion of normalcy. Pictured in this still from a German propaganda film is the "Ghetto Swingers" orchestra. Although the "Swingers" undoubtedly were not as carefree as this image suggests, Theresienstadt did have a lively musical community that produced some notable works, such as the Victor Ullman/Peter Kien opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis); Ullman's Piano Sonata no. 6, opus 49; and Hans Karasa's opera for children, Bundibar.
Photo: Terezin Memorial Museum/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
 July 20, 1944: German troops commence deportations of Jews from the Italian (later Greek) islands of Rhodes and Kos.
 July 21, 1944: Soviet troops speed toward Brest-Litovsk, Belorussia, and Lublin, Poland.
 July 22, 1944: Survivors of a July 13 mass execution of Jewish slave laborers at Bialystok, Poland, reach Red Army lines after crawling for nine nights.
 July 22, 1944: German troops withdraw from Parczew Forest, Poland, the site of numerous Nazi searches for Jewish fugitives and partisans.
 July 22, 1944: The Red Army occupies Chelm, Poland, east of Lublin.
1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 543 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.