Retropolis To liberate Auschwitz, David Dushman drove a Soviet tank through its barbed wire. Horrors awaited inside.

David Dushman had no idea of the horrors he was about to discover. He was a 21-year-old major in the Red Army in January 1945, when his tank rolled past Krakow, Poland, heading west, pushing the Nazis. At 3 p.m. on Jan. 27, they approached a fence to a camp. It was Auschwitz.


Dushman didn’t enter the death camp through the notorious gate emblazoned with the words “Arbeit macht frei” (Work sets you free). His tank plowed right through the electrified, barbed-wire fence — a fence many prisoners had intentionally jumped into to end their torture.

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