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1945: Liberation and Rebuilding
 pg. 615 
SS troops in Copenhagen, Denmark, turn over their weapons before surrendering. The long years of conflict had taken their toll. Recognizing that the war was lost, these soldiers respond with joy to the order to proceed to the British lines, knowing that they had survived a war that many of their comrades had not.
Photo: AP/Wide World
Liberation was welcomed by every prisoner--although those who had collaborated with the Nazis had qualms about their altered situations. This Polish slave laborer (left) who relaxed on May 4, 1945, with a young companion, in quarters that had been occupied by the adjutant of the Flossenbürg, Germany, concentration camp, was later accused of being a Kapo who had mistreated the camp's Jewish prisoners.
Photo: Drew University Center for Holocaust Study
Symbolic victories over their erstwhile captors were often important to camp prisoners. Here, for example, some of the former prisoners of the concentration camp at Mauthausen, Austria, tear down the Nazi eagle and swastika over the camp's main gate. Former inmates had suffered Nazi terror in horrifyingly unique ways, and were eager to destroy physical reminders of the Third Reich. It was left to some Allied soldiers, who encountered German troops mainly as battlefield adversaries, to regard Nazi artifacts as souvenirs to be gathered and kept.
Photo: Imperial War Museum/Archive Photos
The Allies often made practical--and ironic--use of the former concentration camps to house German prisoners of war. This British soldier stands watch over German POWs being held in what had been the Neuengamme concentration camp.
Photo: Imperial War Museum
1945: Liberation and Rebuilding
 pg. 615 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.