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'People were exhausted, emaciated by hunger," Russian Auschwitz liberator remembers

'People were exhausted, emaciated by hunger," Russian Auschwitz liberator remembers
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Ivan Martinushkin is 96 years old and one of the last remaining Russian soldiers who liberated Auschwitz in 1945.

"After the liberation of Krakow, we began to move deep into Polish territory, we fought all the time, the battles were literally for every village, for every high-rise, we walked all the time," he said.

"I remember somewhere along the Krakow highway, from Krakow to Auschwitz we were almost running one night."

After one battle Ivan and his fellow officers passed through a village and into a vast field. They saw a long wired fence, some buildings behind it. An order came just after - not to open fire.

“We approached one group, they stood by the barracks. People were exhausted, worn to a shadow, darkened, emaciated by hunger, hollow-cheeked."

"We did not understand their language at all. But when we looked in their eyes we saw that they understand one thing - the hell is over. And we had this feeling that we brought liberation to those people."

WATCH Ivan Martinushkin telling Galina Polonskya about his experience on arrival at the extermination camp

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