Gross-Rosen Concentration Camp is Liberated by Soviet Forces

At its peak activity in 1944, the Gross-Rosen complex had up to sixty subcamps located in eastern Germany and occupied Poland.

In its final stage, the population of the Gross-Rosen camps accounted for 11% of the total inmates in Nazi concentration camps at that time. A total of 125,000 inmates of various nationalities passed through the complex during its existence, of whom an estimated 40,000 died on site and in evacuation transports. The camp was liberated on February 14, 1945, by the Red Army.

A total of over 500 female camp guards were trained and served in the Gross Rosen complex. Female SS staffed the women's subcamps of Bruennlitz, Graeben, Gruenberg, Gruschwitz Neusalz, Hundsfeld, Kratzau II, Oberalstadt, Reichenbach, and Schlesiersee Schanzenbau.

A subcamp of Gross-Rosen situated in the Czechoslovakian town of Brunnlitz, was a location where Jews rescued by Oskar Schindler were interned.

As Soviet forces approached in January 1945, the Germans began to evacuate the Gross-Rosen complex. The subcamps on the eastern bank of the Oder River were dissolved. In early February 1945, the main camp was evacuated, followed by additional subcamps. About 40,000 prisoners, half of whom were Jews, were forced on death marches, marching west on foot under brutal conditions. Some of the survivors were then transported by rail to Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Flossenb├╝rg, Mauthausen, Dora-Mittelbau, and Neuengamme--camps in the German Reich. Many prisoners died during the evacuations due to the lack of food and water. SS guards killed prisoners who became too weak to continue. Soviet forces liberated the main Gross-Rosen camp on February 13, 1945.