Siege of Breslau

Festung Breslau (May 1945)
Breslau, situated on the River Oder is the former capital of Schlesien. Along with almost all of Lower Silesia, the city became part of Poland under the terms of the Potsdam Conference (August 1945). In February 1945 the Soviets approached the city. During the poorly organised evacuation 18,000 women and children froze to death in icy snowstorms. By the end of the siege, half the city had been destroyed. An estimated 40,000 civilians lay dead in the ruins. This siege remains little-known in the West therefore the first-hand account In the fire of the Eastern Front by Dutch Waffen-SS Volunteer Henrik C. Verton is of particular historical interest. Verton served in SS-Festungs-Grenadier-Regiment Besslein, an ad-hoc unit raised in February 1945 for the defense of Breslau. Credit: Wikipedia. Image: Dolny Śląsk.

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