Of the 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation

Author: Gojonnogo

The History of Auschwitz

27th January 1945, Oświęcim, Poland. Red Army troops make their way through the Lesser Poland province of southern Poland, situated 50 kilometres west of Kraków. The SS began evacuating Auschwitz and nearly 60,000 prisoners were forced to march west towards Germany. Thousands had been killed in the days prior to the start of these death marches. If you were to stop, unable to walk any further, then SS officers would shoot you on the spot. However, it wasn’t just fatigue that would kill you; it was starvation and exposure to the cold weather. More than 15,000 died during these death marches. When the Soviet army entered into Auschwitz they were able to liberate more than 7,000 remaining prisoners who were mostly ill and dying. It is estimated that at minimum 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945; of these, at least 1.1 million were murdered, 90% of whom were Jewish.

Voices from Auschwitz

Bart Stern:

“So I was hiding out in the heap of dead bodies because in the last week when the crematoria didn’t function at all, the bodies were just building up higher and higher. So there I was at night-time, in the daytime I was roaming around in the camp, and this is where I actually survived”

Soviet Experience

“It was the silence, the smell of ashes and the boundless surrounding expanse that struck Soviet soldier Ivan Martynushkin when his unit arrived.

As they entered the camp for the first time, the full horror of the Nazis’ crimes there were yet to emerge.
“Only the highest-ranking officers of the General Staff had perhaps heard of the camp,” recalled Martynushkin of his arrival to the site. “We knew nothing.”
But Martynushkin and his comrades soon learned.
After scouring the camp in search of a potential Nazi ambush, Martynushkin and his fellow soldiers “noticed people behind barbed wire.”

“It was hard to watch them. I remember their faces, especially their eyes which betrayed their ordeal,” he said.
Among items discovered by Martynushkin and other Soviet troops were 370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 women’s garments, and 7.7 tons of human hair.”

My Experience of Auschwitz-Birkenau

I was lucky enough to go to Auschwitz-Birkenau a couple of months ago thanks to the Holocaust Educational Trust (http://www.het.org.uk/) and their project, Lessons from Auschwitz. Before I actually went on the trip to Poland I met with a Holocaust survivor, her name is Susan Pollack and she has to be one of the most amazing people I have ever had the fortune to meet. She was around 14 when she was sent to Auschwitz with the rest of her family and was lucky to survive as normally children would be sent to the gas chambers upon arrival, as were most women. Susan was fairly understanding of what happened to her and stated she felt “no need for retribution”.

I spent a whole day walking around both Auschwitz I, with a guided tour, and Birkenau. Auschwitz was as I imagined, rows of buildings in a somewhat orderly fashion.


Birkenau however completely blew my mind, it was so quiet (despite the mass of people visiting) and so vast that is was almost intimidating. As the Nazis were preparing to leave following the advance of the Red Army they decided to try and blow up some of the evidence of their crimes. This creates an astonishing view within Birkenau that is very difficult to stop picturing for me.


As the picture above shows, there are rows upon rows of chimneys were huts, like the one in the forefront of the picture, used to stand. It makes for a truly awe-inspiring visit and something that will stay with be for a long, long time.

Now you may be wondering what this has got to do with you and World of Tanks (which is why we’re all here). I have recently been observing not just in society and everyday life but also within the World of Tanks – one obviously directly affects the other – there has been a massive increase in anti-Semitism with many a keyboard warrior shouting out in chat “Take a shower you Jew” (or something to such affect). Now, it is apparent to me that this may be down to sheer ignorance, monkey see monkey do, but it could also be a lack of knowledge of what quite happened throughout the Holocaust. This is where I hope the first part of this article helped with some of the liberation and numbers involved. But I hope to help further within this second part.

First things first, when I say Auschwitz-Birkenau I am actually talking about two separate camps; Auschwitz I and Birkenau.

The Prisoners

I’m sure most of you assume that the Holocaust only affects the Jews of Europe, I used to think just such a thing, however, you’d be wrong. Nazi Concentration and Death Camps contained not only Jews but Roma gypsies, Slovaks, Poles, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and even political prisoners. Now I have to admit that in comparison to the number of Jews the other categories of prisoner combined are significantly less.

Life in Auschwitz-Birkenau

In Auschwitz you were never known by name, you were known by a number that was tattooed on your fore arm, this is a clear example of how the Nazis tried their utmost to belittle and dehumanise the prisoners in the camp.
Auschwitz I was opened in former Polish army barracks in 1940. Prisoner’s rooms were much better than the sleeping accommodation in Birkenau; however it was hardly suitable for living in. As the pictures below show the bedding was either layers of blankets, straw or human hair.



Upon arrival prisoners were stripped naked and had their belongings taken from them, some were so optimistic that they would go home that they would write their name, date of birth and address on any luggage they had with them. Shoes were also collected and there is now a room within the museum where you can see just a fraction of the shoes that were taken from small children, adults and the elderly.


In comparison an officers room was actually rather nice, they had a comfortable bed (like we would have today), a little desk to work and a wardrobe for their clothes.


The most well-known physician within Auschwitz was Josef Mengele, a psychopathic doctor who had a fascination with dwarfism and the science of twins. I say he was psychopathic because of what he did to such aforementioned people and his frankly disturbing obsession with torture and pushing inmates to their psychological limits. In the first phase of his experiments, Mengele subjected pairs twins and people with physical handicaps to special medical examinations that could be carried out on the living organism. Usually painful and exhausting, these examinations lasted for hours and were a difficult experience for starved, terrified children (for such were the majority of the twins). The subjects were photographed, plaster casts were made of their teeth and jaws, and their fingerprints and toe prints were taken. As soon as the examinations of a given pair of twins or dwarf were finished, Mengele ordered them killed by phenol injection so that he could go on to the next phase of his experiments, the comparative analysis of internal organs at autopsy. “Scientifically” interesting anatomical specimens were preserved and shipped to the Institute in Berlin-Dahlem for more detailed examination.


Whenever a prisoner stole bread, tried to escape or where just picked out at role call to make an example of a number of things could happen to them. There was a death wall that they would be stood up against and shot by camp officers.


The “delightful” looking posts below were designed to break a man, both physically and mentally, but they were definitely not designed for killing as that wasn’t the Nazi way. What they would do is tie your hands behind your back, lift your arms above your head and attach the rope to the little hook and hang you up for hours at a time. It was a certainty that you would dislocate your shoulders. *Note that the windows are boarded up so that other prisoners are unaware of what is happening to their friends or neighbours*



The picture below (sorry it’s a bit blurry) shows out of the nearly 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust what countries they were deported from to their death. Please take not of Poland with 2.93 million Jews killed during the Holocaust, the Jewish population in Poland prior to the war was 3.3 million.


Inside some of the cattle wagons that were found there were children’s drawings of their experiences under the Nazi regime. I find them very chilling and quite upsetting actually. They were traced from the wagon onto a wall inside a small museum inside one of the buildings in Auschwitz.

See pictures below.



Rudolph Hoess was the Camp Commandant at Auschwitz and had his house actually inside the camp and even worse, it was opposite a gas chamber. His children however saw their father as loving and thought there was nothing wrong with what was going on around them. They did in fact state that they enjoyed their time living there. When Hoess was caught and trialled for his crime he was sentenced to death, gallows were set up next to the gas chamber, the one opposite his house, where he was hanged in 1947.


As I said in the first part of this article, Birkenau was intimidating for me for a number of reasons, the huge entrance with the guard tower at the top.


It might also have been the rather sombre silence mixed with the mass of chimneys and huts that lay inside the barbed wire fence.


The picture above is the right side of the camp, most of it was destroyed by the Nazis before they left but there were some huts that were left intact. I refer to them as huts in a rather loose manner as they were actually stables before they were used as accommodation for the prisoner of Birkenau. Previously there would have been 60 horses inside one of these stables, but when Birkenau was turned into a camp there would be around 1,000 Jews crammed inside. This would spread many diseases and it isn’t exactly an insulated building like your home, it is closer to a shed you would have in your garden, this resulted in hypothermia.


Now you may be wondering, did anyone ever get found guilty for the Holocaust?

Well, the trial of Adolf Eichmann is the closest we can get to that. In the 60s Eichmann was tried in Israel for drawing up the details for the “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem”. After the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Eichmann and his staff arranged for Jews to be concentrated into ghettos in major cities with the expectation they would be transported farther east or overseas. As the Nazis began the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, their Jewish policy changed from emigration to extermination. Eichmann and his staff became responsible for Jewish deportations to extermination camps, where the victims were gassed. After Germany invaded Hungary in March 1944, Eichmann oversaw the deportation and extermination of that country’s Jewish population. Most of the victims were sent to Auschwitz, where 75 to 90 per cent were killed on arrival. By the time the transports were stopped in July, 437,000 of Hungary’s 725,000 Jews had been killed. Eichmann said towards the end of the war that he would “leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction.” So Eichmann was a real nutjob that got everything he deserved when he was sentenced to death by hanging.

Thank you for taking your time to read through this, I appreciate greatly and I hope you learned to some degree the extent of the Holocaust. So next time you get infuriated with some, I implore you to think about what you’re going to say and not blurt out some stupid rubbish about Jews and gassing.

I would like to extend a special thank you to Silentstalker for letting me write such an article and posting for all of you to read.

I leave you on a poem by Primo Levi, a survivor of the Holocaust.


You who live secure
In your warm houses
Who return at evening to find
Hot food and friendly faces:

Consider whether this is a man,
Who labours in the mud
Who knows no peace
Who fights for a crust of bread
Who dies at a yes or a no.
Consider whether this is a woman,
Without hair or name
With no more strength to remember
Eyes empty and womb cold
As a frog in winter.

Consider that this has been:
I commend these words to you.
Engrave them on your hearts
When you are in your house, when you walk on your way,
When you go to bed, when you rise.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your house crumble,
Disease render you powerless,
Your offspring avert their faces from you.

79 thoughts on “Of the 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation

    • Thank you for this post. I nearly cried at work.
      I’ve lived close to a sattelite camp of Mauthausen, Austria, where they manufactured tank parts through slave labor.
      I’ve been to Mauthausen twice. I never want to go there again.

      • Thank you, sorry to have nearly made you cry at work… that would be embarrassing.
        I don’t think I could manage to go back to Auschwitz or Birkenau. What have seen there has been eating at me for months now.

    • Gojonnogo, thank you for the article, I just started watching very informative documentations about holocaust on german tv channel zdf_info, and those survivors experiences show true barbarism among nazis. Their race was far from every honorable “aryan” behavior, even the word “aryan” is stolen from ancient persian nation, and had nothing to do with blonde and blueeyed people. Whole aryan thing is a made up psychopathic illusion, even worth a laugh, if it wouldn’t be that sad. Thats why THEY are the degenerated race.

      In 1930-1933 elections in germany, they should just have given political asylum to every anti-NSDAP-voter, rescued them to other countries, locked down german-austrian border, killed all remaining NSDAP-farmers, and just starved the entire NSDAP-fascism-Nation to death.

      No i’m joking on a serious issue and I know world is not black and white, those times where different aswell, but there where enough crazy germans among peaceful germans, to bring up puppet hitler and his party, giving them enough power and support to do something terrific like the holocaust.

      And it’s not just about education and stuff, most people supporting hitler party were rich, “educated” antisemitic germans. And shithole humanity always needs a scapegoat (“Buhmann” in german), nomatter educated or not, because its easy to blame someone else for their own failed lifes, so shit could hit the fan, even today.

      • Thank you for your kind comment, it is a matter of life and politics that there is always a scapegoat be it Jews, Muslims or whatever.

  1. I will just state the obvious
    Nazi is not nation from outer space, they were Germans, Auschwitz was German-nazi camp located in German-nazi occupied Poland.

        • Thank you for try to show some sense. I said Nazis because it is wrong to hold all Germans responsible for this.

            • The one and only nation responsible for mass beheadings is Iraq, you cannot hide behind some “ISIS”
              The one and only nation responsible for mass murders of blacks is America, you cannot hide behind some “KKK”
              The one and only nation responsible for Tienanmen is China, you cannot hide behind some “PRC”
              Faq off, you.

              • Sorry, but blacks were never mass murdered in the US. They were considered to valuable as property. The KKK were responsible for some hangings after the civil war but nothing like genocide.

      • I agree that not all but if you will try to tell me that many were against this I will call you a moron.

      • Considering the other claims, for instance, how many people are trying to deny the holocaust itself and bluntly claiming it never existed, it’s very hard due to solid evidence of these events.
        However, denying the fact that majority of Germans were Nazis, that not only SS were butchers and claiming that most of the Germans were just victims… that is much simpler.

    • And Russia is also a very real place & nation, yet Stalin killed by far more people than Nazi German.
      What’s more twisted that he killed his own people, nonetheless.

    • You sir are an imbecile.

      Yes, A lot of Nazis were German, but guess what? Poland had nazis! The Netherlands did! Denmark did! Pretty much every country in Europe had a group of people that sympathised/collaborated with the Nazi Party from Germany and facilitated transit camps responsible for sending people to their deaths to Auschwitz, Birkenau and more, trying to put the blame on Germany alone is nothing but ignorance!

      • They were generally Fascists, rather than Nazi’s, but your point is valid. That said, cooperation by Poles with the Nazi’s was very, very limited.

        • Please don’t start something like that, this is not what I wanted by making this. I wanted remembrance and understanding.

          • @Gojonnogo, thanks for the article. Replies like above directly show how necessary it is that these articles keep popping up.

            • Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. And above shows exactly why I did it, which makes me ever more grateful to SS for publishing it.

          • A lot of people still need to read Arendt’s “Origins of totalitarianism” and “Eichmann in Jerusalem”. Both of which are very great books about human nature in relation to these events.

        • Nobody is defending them, also we cant affect what our grandparents did right? We must understand that when a certan governmnet has an agenda it may seem reasonable for the masses.

      • Poland had nazis? U re pretty fucktarded.

        There was no pro-nazi collaboration government in occupied Poland. There were no polish institutions in occupied Poland helping GERMANS to exterminate Poles and Jewish citizens of Poland.

        and most of all:



        So FUCK YOU.

    • you should know that nazi is ideology and as such ppl were nazi from all over the Europe not only Germany

      • Not correct. You are conflating Nazism with Fascism. The two are similar but not exactly the same. Eg. the first major European Fascist government was in Italy, but lacked the strong theme of racial ideology which was a core part of Nazism.

        • Good article. I hope SS will get off his ass and ban Nazi sympathizers like Fedaykin89 on his blog.

          • Thank you. Just ignore him, attention is what he wants (rather like Kim Kardashian…)

          • How in the actual fuck am I a Nazi sympathizer?!?

            Jesus fucking Christ, never imagined you could be this retarded

  2. All those wasted lives… imagine the engineering feats of the nazi regime had they not wasted the minds of both the camp guards and the prisoners.

    • Most of the guards at Auschwitz-Birkenau where Ukrainians who “outperformed” their SS officers masters. Ukrainians where no better than Nazis and collaborated willingly with the SS. I think Ukrainians where only non-Germans whom SS let to “work” at the camps.

      • Source?

        Because IIRC, Ukraine was too fucked up by Stalin by that time to account for anything, anymore

        • The extermination camps (Sobbibor, Treblinka, Birkenau) were established in 1942 as part of the final solution to the “Jewish Problem of the 3rd Reich” in order to optimize the murder process and diminish the bad impact on the Wermacht units whom first executed the murders. The SS took responsibility to execute the final solution. SS were recruiting camp guards from Ukraine due the solid antisemitic base and sympathizing the Nazi fascist ideas

          In 1975 it was an Ukrainian newspaper who exposed Ukrainians collaborators with the SS by name . Most of them lived in the U.S. , some of them brought to Justice.

          Most famous case was of John Demjanjuk‏, Ukrainian Kiev resident, who was convicted by German court of justice in taking part in killing of 29,000 jewish prisoners.

        • It is a fact that Ukrainians had their own SS regiment dunno what about the work in camps. Even some of the most savage SS troops were terrified by the level of cruelty Ukrainians performed against the Russians during the war.

          U still have to remember how much the Ukrainians suffered from a Stalin collectivisation famine, where in the country that could feed the whole Europe millions (from 2,5 to even 7,5 million Ukrainians) died from a starvation.


          I really do not wonder about their hate and behaviour against the Russians.

    • Imagine if Germany would have simply risen against communism, without the whole fascism & racism part, and would have refrained to keeping Russia at bay.

      One can dream, right?

      • >Some JUDEN thinks of this idea to bring thermal blankets to russia
        >holy shit it actually works
        >better German industry due to not having to take care of DIE JUDEN
        >E-series of tanks come 4 years early
        >Stomps over Russia

        The year is 2015, The Great German Empire has now mastered FTL and is colonizing Titan.

        I CAN DREAM, CAN’T I

        • I don’t know, with what they did they managed to have a free workforce, slaves, wishing it never happened is what everyone should wish, but maybe they would have still lost any war they went into.

      • How are you not banned?

        Glad to see you are a Nazi sympathizer though, we finally see your true colors.

  3. Visited Auschwitz and Birkenau with my school.. not something to brag about, the place still has the feeling that an extremly horrible human act was being done there…

      • The Institute of National Remembrance is an Polish Government Institution and the informations there are very accurate.

        • Quite so. But the website says all occupied peoples did not cooperate with the nazi’s. This is largly true of Poles, but not so much of other nations. They should make it clearer that they are specifically talking about Poland.

  4. I can’t say that I have noticed more anti-antisemitism in the in-game chat. The amount seems about the same as it always was, ie. one such comment in 100 games or so. Hardly a scientific measurement though.

      • Actually, I would say in general, there are slightly less insults (antisemitic or otherwise) in the in-game chat than there used to be – say 2 years ago.

        WG used to largely ignore this issue, where as now they do take some limited action.

  5. Cue all the idiotic anti-semites who simply refuse to fathom that humanity can become so low that it could actually engineer the systematic removal of 5-6 million humans, spamming BS numbers like “but there were only 3 million total Jews in Europe at the time”

    It really is mind-blowing how many people today believe in the “Holohoax” Jewish conspiracy theory.

    • Oh, and that in fact they weren’t death camps, most prisoners actually died of typhos. How could I forget that brilliant excuse?

  6. Was in Auschwitz about half year ago. Is terrible to see the waves of tourists, man feel like on the Eiffel tower.

    The most terrible are the tourist from Asia, making forbidden photos of piles of the hair, glasses and the baby dolls. This is a moment, when man ask itself, if this is how to present holocaust.

  7. Unfortunately Japanese govermant does not apologize WW2. They usually say They were attacked by Nuclear bombs. They don’t care War crime which they did. Even eating US soilder.

  8. When Mengele was in South America, his family firm (agricultural machinery, still a big firm today) were still sending money to support him…
    The German Govt bailed it out not long after his death.

  9. After Second World War this concentaration camp still has been working. Polish communist government imprisoned a lot of Silesian people in it. It has worked until 1948.

  10. Holocaust on FTR? Are you doing an experiment to see how quickly you need to close commenting, SS? My guess would be <24 hours from now.

    • I asked him if I could do it as part of a project for the Holocaust Education Trust and to do it as a memorial type post for those who died.

  11. I am a grandson to an Auschwitz survivor.
    Having grown up, listening to my grandmother telling me what she went through, I still shake my head in disbelief that a nation like the German nation allowed themselves to sink to such evil ways.
    How a person can look into a child’s eyes and murder that child in his/her mothers arms in cold blood.
    Death in combat is another matter entirely. And accidental civilian casualties will always take place in a war zone. But to intentionally do these horrible acts of violence is just beyond any comprehension.
    Same with what happened in the Balkans, in Africa, in Syria with ISIS. Intentionally targetting civilians is a crime that even execution is too light a punishment for.

    There are those out there in this world that wish to repeat those dark years of the nazi regime, with what they did to my people. I hope that they have the courage of their conviction. This time, they will be met face to face. And not have the pleasure of killing jews in the way that the nazi’s and their henchmen did with impunity.

  12. I think people make “jokes” easily these days, is because the tie to the past just isn’t made anymore.
    People in their 30′s had their grandparents to tell them of stories during the war. People in their 50-60′s their parents…but people less than 20 these days? The majority have nver met someone alive during that period, and the atrocities commited were such that nothing can even compared to this day.
    The biggest tragedy this part year (in the Western world) has been the killing of 11 people, to which there was uproar. A car crash is a tragedy these days. So a kid just can’t imagine the impact the words he muttering can have. If I made a joke about the Holocaust to my now deceased Polish grandmother, and French grandfather who lost family to the war an camps, I think I would still have my ass and face red and sore from the ass-whopping I would have received.

    Now, I’m not above making a cute joke about jews and camp, but never in anger, and with an audience I know understands that am not taking the matter lightly.
    That would probably be because I once met a camp survivor at school. She talked to us about these camps, and we knew about them, but could not imagine. Even as she was talking, it was just unthinkable. Then she showed us her serial tatoo on her forearm, and pointed at a little girl with her arm sticking out of barbed wire on video, and the numbers matched up.
    That grown woman we had been listening to was on video. Some poor Russian war correspondant filmed her in 1944, in a concentration…it hit like a sack of bricks, and by god, it’s an emotion I will never forget.

    I am absolutely disgusted by comments like “gas the jews”, because whenever I see that, I see the terror in the eyes of a little girl, and matched it up to the see eyes of a woman 60 years later tearing up on stage.

    • Whenever I see such comments I just see Susan (who I mentioned in the article) and think what would this delightful, wonderful woman make of such things being said.
      If only there were likes or +1s on comments, cos you would get all of mine every single day. Thank you.

  13. Jan Karski

    One of the bravest men to live. Polish army officer, dispatched by the Polish underground to warn the West about what the Nazi’s were doing in his homeland.



    “Schreibt and farschreibt” – “Write and Record”, the words attributed to the jewish historian Simon Dubnow, who died when the Nazi’s murdered the jews of Riga. Well done Silentstalker and Gojonnogo for Writing and Recording.

    “In marking the national Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27th, telling and re-telling the stories of those lives, perhaps there is, if not understanding, mindfulness and responsibility of our task to prevent at all costs the genocide and pointless killing of any human being on this earth”. – Alexandra Wright

    • Any particular reason for that choice of song? Or were you listening to it at the time of reading?

  14. History is written by victor.

    //this was reply to someone who’s been obviously deleted by mods, gj :p