With the Red Army offensive approaching in the second half of 1944, the SS administration began gradually evacuating Auschwitz concentration camp prisoners to camps in the depths of the Reich. The orders for the final evacuation and liquidation of the camp were issued in mid-January 1945.
Approximately 56,000 men and women prisoners were marched out of Auschwitz concentration camp and its sub-camps from January 17-21, 1945, in columns guarded by heavily armed SS escorts. Many of the prisoners died during this tragic evacuation, which is known as the Death March.
Sources: The State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Reprinted with permission.