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1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 544 
Partially burnt corpses tell the gruesome story of Maly Trostinets, a village near Minsk in Belorussia, where the final deportees from the Minsk Ghetto met their deaths. With the approach of Soviet forces, the Germans hastily executed prisoners who had been utilized to destroy the evidence of thousands of other deaths. The prisoners, both Jews and non-Jewish Russian civilians, were herded into a barracks, which was set afire. In spite of the Nazis' efforts, a few Jews survived to tell the story of the mass killings at Maly Trostinets and at the neighboring village of Bolshoi Trostinets.
Photo: State Archives of the Russian Federation/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Russian soldiers and Polish civilians, including a nun, are overcome by grief and horror as they stand among the ruins of the Majdanek death camp. Camp administrators, fearing they would be captured and the purpose of the camp revealed, hastily fled in July 1944 before the advancing Russian Army arrived, taking along about 1000 prisoners. They set fire to the camp, hoping to destroy the evidence of their crimes, but failed to obliterate the gas chambers, which were testimony to the camp's ghastly purpose.
Photo: AKG London
This mound of bones provides grisly evidence of the death toll at Majdanek. Over its years of operation as a concentration and death camp, around 500,000 inmates were imprisoned there, 360,000 of whom, mostly Jews, died by gas, hanging, starvation, disease, or overwork. When the Red Army liberated the camp, they found about 500 inmates still alive.
Photo: Bundesarchiv
 July 23, 1944: Soviet troops liberate the abandoned death camp at Majdanek, where about 500 inmates are alive.
 July 23, 1944: The Nazis deport 1700 Jews from Rhodes, Italy, to Auschwitz.
 July 24, 1944: 258 Jewish orphans from Paris and the surrounding area are seized.
 July 24, 1944: At Bourges, France, Gestapo agents and militiamen massacre 28 Jewish men and eight Jewish women active in the Resistance. Some victims are thrown alive into a well.
 July 24, 1944: The German Army adopts the Nazi salute, abandoning the standard military salute.
 July 25, 1944: Three tankers carrying more than 1600 Jews from the Italian-held island of Rhodes stop at the island of Kos, where 94 additional Jews are forced aboard; See July 30, 1944.
1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 544 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.