Liberation of major Nazi camps, 1944-1945
As Allied troops moved across Europe in a series of offensives on Germany, they began to encounter and liberate concentration camp prisoners, many of whom had survived death marches into the interior of Germany. Soviet forces were the first to approach a major Nazi camp, reaching the Majdanek camp near Lublin, Poland, in July 1944. Surprised by the rapid Soviet advance, the Germans attempted to demolish the camp in an effort to hide the evidence of mass murder. The Soviets also liberated major Nazi camps at Auschwitz, Stutthof, Sachsenhausen, and Ravensbrueck. U.S. forces liberated the Buchenwald, Dora-Mittelbau, Flossenbuerg, Dachau, and Mauthausen camps. British forces liberated camps in northern Germany, including Neuengamme and Bergen-Belsen.
— United States Holocaust Memorial Museum