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The Final Months and Liberation

 

"The day is over, this April 29 1945. I will celebrate it for the rest of my life as my second birthday, as the day that gifted me life anew."

 

(Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz, Dachauer Tagebücher, S.499)

 

With the victorious advance of the Allied troops, the SS evacuated more and more concentration camps, transporting the prisoners to camps located in areas still under Nazi control. On these transports, which often lasted weeks, thousands of prisoners died; they died of disease, exhaustion, malnutrition, beatings inflicted by the SS or, if it was no longer possible to transport them, they were simply shot.

 

The prisoner numbers at the Dachau concentration camp rose drastically, and from December 1944 catastrophic conditions reigned in the camp: the barracks were hopelessly overcrowded and a typhus epidemic took the lives of thousands.

 

Towards the end of April the SS began to evacuate the remaining 100 or so subsidiary camps and external work details. A large number of prisoners - the exact number is unknown - died during these marches, were killed by dive bomber attacks on rail transports, or murdered by the SS before the transports departed.

 

On April 27 1945, around 7,000 prisoners were sent from the main Dachau camp on a march southwards.

 

On April 28 1945, the majority of the SS left the camp, and a day later, on April 29 1945, units from the US Army liberated the Dachau concentration camp.

 

Upon liberation over 67,000 prisoners were held in the Dachau concentration camp, half of whom were in the main camp.

 

Finally liberated!

 

 

 

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