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1945: Liberation and Rebuilding
 pg. 589 

After their epic victory over German forces at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942-43, the Soviets moved steadily westward until capturing Berlin on May 2, 1945. Following the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944, the Western Allies unleashed more than two million troops, who pushed eastward over the next 11 months.
Among the last victims of Bergen-Belsen in the spring of 1945 were 15-year-old Anne Frank (pictured) and her sister, Margot. Arriving from Auschwitz in October 1944, the sisters clung to each other and struggled to survive in the midst of the increasingly deteriorating conditions of the camp. Typhus claimed Margot first, and a frail Anne died of the disease a few days after.
Photo: Bilderdienst Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Soviet soldiers trample a Nazi flag as they march westward early in 1945. Under such skilled leaders as Marshals Konstantin K. Rokossovky and Ivan S. Konev, the Soviet Army swept from one victory to another. In spite of sometimes ferocious German resistance, the Soviets captured Warsaw and Gdansk in Poland as they pushed toward their ultimate goal of crossing the Oder River to capture Berlin.
Photo: Suddeutscher Verlag Bilderdienst
 January 18-March 1945: Acting on orders from Berlin, the SS begins a massive, on-foot evacuation of all prisoners and slave laborers at the Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz camps and from the Auschwitz region (Upper Silesia, Poland). Of the thousands of marchers, most die from exposure, exhaustion, and abuse on their way to their destinations. Boys evacuated from Birkenau march toward Mauthausen, Austria. Many of the boys are on "cart commando" duty; i.e., harnessed to enormous carts in groups of 20.
 January 20, 1945: 4200 Jews are shot at Auschwitz.
 January 20, 1945: The Red Army moves into East Prussia.
1945: Liberation and Rebuilding
 pg. 589 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.