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20 historical photographs of prisoners rescued from the Death Train at Dachau
20 historical photographs of prisoners rescued from the Death Train at Dachau
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Prisoners of the Dachau death camp on the day of liberation. April 29, 1945

The liberation of the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945 by American troops went down in history as the "massacre at Dachau". And all because the soldiers, struck by the massiveness and cruelty of the murders of prisoners, shot more than five hundred Nazis in the camp. Today in our review there are photos of prisoners who were lucky enough to wait for release.

The train of death was the name of the train that left Weimar on April 8, 1945 to deliver prisoners from the Buchenwald concentration camp to Dachau. Due to delays caused by the Allied bombing, the train did not arrive at its destination until three weeks later. Many prisoners died on the way, and many of those who made it to this terrible place managed to survive - they were freed by units of the 45th Infantry Division of the 7th American Army.

1. Survivors

Confusion, bewilderment, fear, sadness fills the faces of women and children from the concentration camp when they realized that they are free

2. On the hill

The shock state of the people from the train, some survived, while others fell asleep forever

3. Joyful release

The photograph captured a group of emaciated survivors with joy on their faces

Private John Lee was one of the first people to enter the camp. Later he said in his memoirs: “The carriages, pierced by bullets, were packed with people. Obviously, the train was under fire on its way to Dachau. The picture we saw was terrible: people torn to shreds, burned to the ground, starving to death. For a long time I could not forget this picture. It seemed that the dead looked into our eyes with the question: "Why have you been so long?"

4. Help arrived on time

Little girl surrounded by adults

5. Group photo

The prisoners took a photo in front of the death train standing behind

6. Family

Children of various ages who were imprisoned

7. Why are you taking so long?

A woman named Gina Rappaport from the train stands next to a tank and tankers

8. Railway to Magdeburg

The photo was taken after the people were released and transported home

Dachau's surviving prisoners included Albanian Ali Kuchi and Belgian Arthur Holo. Later they wrote the book "The Last Days of Dachau", in which they talked about all the horrors of the "Death Train". About 2,500 out of 6,000 made it to Dachau alive.

9. Facts on the face

A carriage with prisoners who died on the way

10. USAF

American soldiers ride the death train

11. They starved to death

The train with the bodies stopped at the newly liberated camp

12. Salvation

The soldier helps the exhausted prisoner of war to climb into the back of the car

13. Humanity

A private carries out in his arms an emaciated person who cannot move independently

Inside the concentration camp, the Americans saw such things, which made even experienced veterans hair stand up in horror. They seemed to be in a branch of hell on Earth, where absolute evil was happening, from contact with which any normal person immediately loses his mind. Actually, this is what happened to the American soldiers.

14. Helplessness

One of the few survivors

15. Huge composition

Photo of a train with open doors and no roofs

16. American liberators

Along the train are soldiers who stopped the train

The garrison commander, SS Lieutenant Heinrich Skodzenski, who commanded the camp for just over a day, was shot near one of the carriages of the "death train", which was filled to the very roof with the corpses of killed concentration camp prisoners. Then the soldiers began to shoot the guards and all the German prisoners of war - that day 560 people were killed. This incident went down in history as the “massacre at Dachau”.

17. Dachau Death Train

Photo of the death train from one of the first concentration camps in Dachau

18. Half-empty wagons

Only grief and death remained in the carriages

The Americans also had an idea of ​​how to most intelligibly tell all the other Germans about the nightmare that was happening in the concentration camps. They mobilized the civilian population of the surrounding cities and forced them to participate in a campaign to reburial the remains of people tortured by the Nazis.

19. Joy

Men and women fall to their knees and kiss the ground in disbelief

20. Thank you so much

A concentration camp prisoner shakes hands with his savior in gratitude

The emotional state and mental trauma that the soldiers received when they liberated the concentration camps and discovered the dead and exhausted victims of Nazism there are little reflected in American popular culture. A recent attempt to mention this layer of history was in the film "Isle of the Damned" based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, the protagonist of which, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, suffers from nightmares, including those associated with the shooting of Dachau's guards.

Even through the prism of years, the story of how a Russian hero saved the lives of thousands of prisoners of a fascist concentration camp.

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