Auschwitz liberation, 75 years later: 5 brilliant minds in the arts who died in the concentration camp

Monday marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, the vast complex where Jews were killed in gas chambers and then cremated.

Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet army on Jan. 27, 1945.

Many brilliant minds in the arts, from painters to musicians to philosophers, perished in the concentration camp, including prescient visionaries who, through their masterpieces, documented the horrors as they happened before their tragic deaths.

PHOTOS: AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU: A LOOK BACK AT 75 YEARS SINCE LIBERATION

Here are five brilliant minds in the arts who died at Auschwitz:

EDITH STEIN

Edith Stein was a German-Jewish philosopher who became a Catholic nun.

Stein wrote an appeal to Pope Pius XI in 1933, urging the Catholic Church stop the Nazi persecution of the Jews: "Holy father ... for weeks we in Germany are spectators of evils which entail total contempt for justice and humanity ... For years the Nazi leaders have shown their hatred for the Jews. Now they have attained power and have armed their followers – including noted criminal elements – to harvest the fruit of the hatred they have sown."

She was murdered at Auschwitz in August 1942.

She is canonized as a martyr and saint of the Catholic Church, and she is one of six co-patron saints of Europe.

CHARLOTTE SALOMON

Charlotte Salomon was 26 and pregnant when she was murdered at Auschwitz in October 1943.

She created more than 750 paintings as a memoir before she died.

FELIX NUSSBAUM

Felix Nussbaum was a German-Jewish surrealist painter who was murdered at Auschwitz at age 39 in August 1944.

In 1943, he ominously painted “Self-Portrait with Jewish Identity Card,” showing himself marked for death.

Felix Nussbaum was a German-Jewish surrealist painter who was murdered at Auschwitz at age 39 in August 1944. (Facebook)

Felix Nussbaum was a German-Jewish surrealist painter who was murdered at Auschwitz at age 39 in August 1944. (Facebook)

PAVEL HAAS

Pavel Haas was murdered at Auschwitz in October 1944.

He was a composer whose work, "Study for String Orchestra," was included in a Nazi propaganda film.

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VIKTOR ULLMANN

Viktor Ullmann was a composer who was murdered at Auschwitz in October 1944.

Before his death he wrote: “[Artistic] form” must be understood as that which “overcomes matter or substance [and where] the secret of every work of art is the annihilation of matter through form—something that can possibly be seen as the overall mission of the human being, not only the aesthetic but ethical human being as well.”