20th century european history

The unimaginable horrors confronting the Allies in 1945

No one had prepared the Allied soldiers, as they began their invasion of the Reich early in 1945, for what they would find. The discovery by the Soviets of the extermination camp of Majdanek in July 1944, and Auschwitz in January 1945, had not really registered, not least because they had been partly emptied and demolished by the retreating Germans. In any case, no one – not the International Committee of the Red Cross, nor the Vatican, nor the British and American governments – had been able, or wanted, to believe what they had been told. The scenes of slaughter and horror that awaited the British, Canadian and American troops