Today, 8th May 2016, marks the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Theresienstadt (Terezín).
On the evening of May 8th 1945, the first Red Army units passed through the site on their way to Prague. In the following days, at the request of Czech doctors on site to assist with the drastic health situation (a typhus epidemic) that was worsening rapidly due to the arrival of thousands of prisoners evacuated from other camps, the Soviet military took over preventative measures in Terezín - also providing valuable medical care. Along with Czech doctors, healthcare personnel, a health service organised by former prisoners and many volunteers from the nearby area, they helped to reduce the number of casualties without regard to their own personal safety. The Czech Aid Project, established in Prague to provide relief for those at Terezín, was led by Karel Raka - the team arrived several days prior to liberation, as did members of the International Red Cross who were leading the preventative measures until the Soviets arrived.
By the end of May, the worst of the epidemic had passed - 30,000 lives had been saved. The repatriation of liberated prisoners, who had arrived at Theresienstadt from 30 different nations, continued until late August 1945.