The Soviet army enters Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz and liberates around 7,000 prisoners, most of whom are ill and dying.
In mid-January 1945, as Soviet forces approached the Auschwitz concentration camp complex, the SS began evacuating Auschwitz and its subcamps. SS units forced nearly 60,000 prisoners to march west from the Auschwitz camp system. Thousands had been killed in the camps in the days before these death marches began. Auschwitz-Birkenau was the killing center at Auschwitz. Almost all of the deportees who arrived at the camps were sent immediately to death in the gas chambers. It is estimated that the SS and police deported at a minimum 1.3 million people to Auschwitz complex between 1940 and 1945. Of these, the camp authorities murdered 1.1 million.