When the Red Army reached the line of the Vistula-Wisłoka in July-August 1944, less than 200 km. from Oświęcim, the German leadership was considering two options for the camp: either liquidation in the case of continued success by the Red Army, or holding onto the camp under favorable circumstances. The Germans therefore initiated a series of evacuation-liquidation steps lasting through the middle of January 1945, but they refrained from doing anything that would make it impossible for the camp to continue functioning.