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1945: Liberation and Rebuilding
 pg. 624 
It was impossible to have a normal childhood in a concentration camp, but parents and other adults often sought to provide some sense of normality for the children imprisoned in the camps. This little girl, photographed in Prague, Czechoslovakia, wears her camp uniform while holding a stuffed animal and a ball, toys she undoubtedly held dear.
Photo: Lydia Chagoll/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Nazis, as part of their effort to give their crimes an aura of legality, were fanatics about paperwork. These deportation notices, discovered in Prague, sent thousands of Czechs to their deaths. These papers also helped convince victims that they were indeed going to be resettled in the East rather than shipped to extermination camps.
Photo: Czechoslovak News Agency
Aliya Bet

Aliya Bet refers to the illegal migration of Jews to Palestine before the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Approximately 25 percent of the 530,000 Jewish immigrants who entered Palestine before 1948 did so by way of Aliya Bet.

While some Jews who illegally entered Palestine took the trip on their own initiative, many journeys were arranged by Zionist organizations. The majority of immigrants traveled by boat, although some took an overland route from Eastern Europe. Some Jews simply remained in Palestine after entering as tourists. Regardless of the method employed, illegal Jewish immigration was challenged by the British (who governed Palestine) at every juncture. More than 50,000 people were caught (above) and deported to detention camps in Cyprus.

After the war, Zionists worked feverishly to relocate survivors of the Holocaust from Europe's displaced-persons camps to Palestine. The high visibility of Aliya Bet and the international pressure it brought to bear were instrumental in the creation of a Jewish state.
Photo: Zionist Archives / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

 May 9, 1945: The camp/ghetto at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, is liberated by Soviet forces.
 May 9, 1945: Friedrich Krüger, an SS-Obergruppenführer responsible for mass exterminations of Polish Jews, commits suicide.
 May 9, 1945: Soviet troops and members of the Czech Resistance defeat German forces in Prague, the last European capital to be liberated.
 May 9, 1945: The Russian Army of Liberation, a collaborationist, anti-Communist Soviet force of 20,000 that elected to battle alongside the SS, turns against its German "allies" in Prague. Army of Liberation commander Andrei Vlasov, with help provided by General Sergei Bunyachenko, holds off German reinforcements in heavy street fighting.
1945: Liberation and Rebuilding
 pg. 624 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.