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Forrest 1 Kara Forrest Mr.

Neuburger English Composition 101-135 11 December 2012 Research Paper Liberation By 1945, freedom for the Jews was crucial. The Nazis had stripped the Jews of everything they owned. The poor, dehumanized people were to the point of dying from malnourishment, harsh treatment, and contaminated living conditions. It is important to understand Liberation for most of the survivors meant a long road to recovery and beginning the process of a whole new life. United States General Eisenhower, in the article called Focus on Liberation, led the Allied soldiers in an attack known as D-Day on June 6, 1944, landing a bomb on Normandy, France. A multitude of 850,000 troops from America, Britain, and Canada began the journey across Europe. General Eisenhower called the mission the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). D-Day was the beginning of an end to the Nazi rule. As the Allied soldiers conquered the lands leading to Germany and the surrounding countries, the Nazis took notice of the powerful Allied army about to invade their own territory.
American soldiers who liberated Buchenwald camp Source:

Forrest 2 The article, Background: Liberation, explains that when the end of the war was evident, the Nazis began marching most of the remaining prisoners from the concentration camps to Germany. Because of the fact that thousands being forced to make this walk died while doing so, the exiting of the Jews from the concentration camps into Germany are called death marches. Many of the inmates who were already at the point of dying before shuffling to Germany died from starvation. Some people were simply shot because they could not keep up, and others froze from the bitter weather. Before leaving certain death camps, the Nazis attempted to destroy evidence of the evil they had done (The British Library). According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), in July of 1944, the first major concentration camp near Lublin, Poland was discovered. The Soviets were the first to behold the appalling scenes of piles of unburied corpses along with the sight of the survivors who resembled living skeletons. The Germans had burned down the
List of inmates in Buchenwald camp after liberation in 1945 Source:

crematorium but because of the need to quickly escape, the gas chambers were untouched. Several other killing

centers were raided during 1944. On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz, which was where most of the murder of the Jews occurred. The evidence found in this camp was abundant. Inside the remaining warehouses revealed hundreds of thousands of men's suits, more than 800,000 women's outfits, and more than 14,000 pounds of human hair (Liberation of Nazi Camps). The article further describes the liberation of many other camps. At the liberation of Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, twenty thousand captives were freed by American soldiers. Around the same time, British forces found some 60,000 Jews smitten with a typhus

Forrest 3 epidemic at Bergen-Belsen. The effects of the epidemic on the people and lack of nutrition caused 10,000 of them to die shortly after deliverance from the Nazis (Liberation of Nazi Camps). According to the website Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, when remembering the sights at Bergen-Belsen upon liberation, lolo Lewis stated, I was absolutely horrified to find out what had happened where I stood and the inhumanity of man against man. I have never been the same since, mentally. How could people do this sort of thing to other people?... The people were not lively. They were treated like animals. They had lost reason (Liberation, Resistance & Rescuers). The Liberation of Nazi Camps article relates much of the world was
American soldiers and liberated prisoners at the main entrance at Buchenwald Source:

unaware of the extent the Nazis had taken to destroy the Jewish race until it was too late. When the Allied forces

happened upon the concentration camps, they became frighteningly aware of the true nature of the Holocaust. The liberators were confronted with disease-infested camps which resulted in many camps being destroyed to prevent the spreading of an epidemic. Recovery was a challenge for the survivors after living in overwhelming conditions for many months and years (USHMM). The USHMM states Though the liberation of Nazi camps was not a primary objective of the Allied military campaign, U.S., British, Canadian, and Soviet troops freed prisoners from their SS guards, provided them with food and badly needed medical support, and collected evidence for war crimes trials (Focus on Liberation). To the Jews, being liberated from the Nazis genocide was the beginning of a whole new struggle. The question of where they would go and live seemed almost impossible to answer. According to the Yad Vashem website, 250,000 Jews were living in Displaced Persons (DP)

Forrest 4 camps by the end of 1946. These camps were occupied by people who had nowhere else to go, yet the people were determined to build back what the Nazis had destroyed. The Jewish DPs in these camps married and gave birth to children, set up educational institutions, published more than 70 Jewish newspapers, initiated commemoration projects, and even established theaters and orchestras (The Anguish of Liberation and Return to Life). Moreover, the article quotes Eliezer Adler: ...This issue of the rehabilitation of She'arit Hapleta (surviving remnant), the Jews' desire to live, is unbelievable. People got married; they would take a hut and divide it into ten tiny rooms for ten couples. The desire for life overcame everything- in spite of everything I am alive, and even living with intensity. When I look back today on those three years in Germany I am amazed. We took children and turned them into human beings, we published a newspaper; we breathed life into those bones... (The Anguish of Liberation and Return to Life). The Anguish of Liberation and Return to Life further explains how the people who suffered at the hands of the Nazis were traumatically changed for the rest of their lives. Many had to live with the horrors of the regime tormenting their minds, keeping them from living without fear and pride. This is true because of Primo Levis words after being liberated: it took me two months to abandon the habit of walking with my eyes fixed to the ground, as if seeking for something to eat or slip rapidly into my pocket to sell for bread (Yad Vashem). Furthermore, the article explains how despite the trauma accompanied with the Holocaust, most of the Jews became valuable citizens of the countries they migrated to.
A British sign at the Bergen Belson camp after liberation Source:

Forrest 5 Among the survivors who did overcome the challenges of returning to life were the ones who committed suicide, or were psychologically damaged, or unfit to start families, or overcome with sickness (Yad Vashem). In a personal testimony of a Holocaust survivor named Joseph Morton, freedom came to the camp where he was staying a day in time. At nineteen years of age, Joseph was lying on the bare floor suffering from Typhus when an American soldier walked up beside him. It took several seconds to recognize it was an American because Joseph could barely see through his heavy eyelids. Being so weak and barely a day away from death, Joseph was transported
Surviving children of the Auschwitz camp Source:

immediately to a hospital. He recovered fairly quickly and located his father and brother. In June 1948, he

moved to Canada, and then to the United States in November 1949. The next May, Joseph married a Holocaust survivor he had met in Canada. He and his wife never talked in detail about their past to their three children (YouTube). The Holocaust will never be forgotten. It was an event that will forever be etched in the minds of those it affected. The extents taken to destroy the Jewish race showed how powerful and scary man can be. It is hard to imagine how six million Jews were killed in such a short time. Every man, woman, and child who survived the persecution by the Nazis barely made it out alive. Each time the Allied soldiers liberated another concentration camp, lives were saved and victory drew closer. The USHMM website concludes, On May 8, 1945, less than one year after D-Day, Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender became official, and the world could celebrate the liberation of Europe from Nazi rule (Focus on Liberation).

Forrest 6 Works Cited "The Anguish of Liberation & Return to Life." Yad Vashem, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. "Background: Liberation." The British Library, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. "Focus on Liberation." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 11 May 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. "Liberation of Nazi Camps." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 11 May 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. "Liberation, Resistance & Rescuers." Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2012. USC Shoah Foundation. "Holocaust Survivor Joseph Morton Testimony." YouTube, 30 Jan. 2009. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.