OSWIECIM, Poland — On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland. The Germans had already fled westward, leaving behind the bodies of prisoners who had been shot and thousands of sick and starving survivors.
The Soviet troops also found gas chambers and crematoria that the Germans had blown up before fleeing in an attempt to hide evidence of their mass killings.
But the genocide was too massive to hide. Today, the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau endures as the leading symbol of the terror of the Holocaust. Its iconic status is such that every year it registers a record number of visitors — 2.3 million last year alone.
On Monday — 75 years after its liberation — hundreds of survivors from across the world will travel to Auschwitz for official anniversary commemorations. In advance of that, Associated Press photographer Markus Schreiber visited the site. Using a panoramic film camera, he documented the remains of the camp in a series of haunting black and white photos.