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Encyclopedia > Auschwitz concentration camp
Auschwitz Concentration Camp1
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The entrance to Auschwitz I. The now notorious motto over the gate, "Arbeit macht frei" translates as: "Work will set you free."
State Party  Poland
Type Cultural
Criteria vi
Identification no. 31
Region2 Europe and North America
Inscription History
Formal Inscription: 1979
3rd WH Committee Session
WH link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/31

1 Name as officially inscribed on the WH List
2 As classified officially by UNESCO
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2032x1524, 1189 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland_corrected_(bordered). ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State...

Auschwitz (Konzentrationslager Auschwitz) was the largest of the Nazi German concentration camps. Located in southern Poland, it took its name from the nearby town of Oświęcim, situated about 50 kilometers west of Kraków and 286 kilometers from Warsaw. Following the Nazi occupation of Poland in September 1939, Oświęcim was incorporated into Germany and renamed Auschwitz. Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... It has been suggested that Internment be merged into this article or section. ... Arms of OÅ›wiÄ™cim View into part of the market square. ... Wawel Hill. ... Warsaw (Polish: , , in full The Capital City of Warsaw, Polish: ) is the capital of Poland, its largest city, and a gamma world city. ...


The camp complex consisted of three main camps: Auschwitz I, the administrative center; Auschwitz II (Birkenau), an extermination camp or Vernichtungslager; and Auschwitz III (Monowitz), a work camp. There were also around 40 satellite camps, some of them tens of kilometers from the main camps, with prisoner populations ranging from several dozen to several thousand. [1] The Holocaust}} Extermination camps were the facilities constructed by Nazi Germany in World War II where the Nazis systematically killed millions of Jews as part of what was later deemed The Holocaust[1]. Bodies of those killed by the Nazis were usually either cremated or buried in mass graves. ...


An unknown, but very large, number of people were killed at Auschwitz. The camp commandant, Rudolf Höss, testifed at the Nuremberg Trials that three million had died there. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum revised this figure in 1990, and new calculations now place the figure at 1.1–1.6 million, [2][3] about 90 percent of them Jews from almost every country in Europe. [4] Methods of killing people at Auschwitz included, primarily, gassing with Zyklon-B; systematic starvation, lack of disease prevention, individual executions and so-called medical experiments accounted for the rest. ... The Süddeutsche Zeitung announces The Verdict in Nuremberg. ... Empty poison gas canisters, found by the Allies at the end of World War II Zyklon B (IPA: , also spelled Cyclon B) was the tradename of a cyanide-based insecticide notorious for its use by Nazi Germany to kill over one million people in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and...

Contents

Summary

Beginning in 1940, Nazi Germany built several concentration camps and an extermination camp in the area, which at the time was under German occupation. The Auschwitz camps were a major element in the perpetration of the Holocaust; at least 1.1 million people were killed there, of whom over 90% were Jews. This article is becoming very long. ...


The three main camps were:

  • Auschwitz I, the original concentration camp which served as the administrative center for the whole complex, and was the site of the deaths of roughly 70,000 people, mostly Poles and Soviet prisoners of war.
  • Auschwitz II (Birkenau), an extermination camp, where at least 1.1 million Jews, 75,000 Polish people, and some 19,000 Roma (Gypsies) were killed.
  • Auschwitz III (Monowitz), which served as a labor camp for the Buna-Werke factory of the I.G. Farben concern.

See list of subcamps of Auschwitz for others. Motto: Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! (Transliterated: Proletarii vsekh stran, soedinyaytes!) Translation: Workers of the world, unite!) Anthem: The Internationale (1922-1944) Hymn of the Soviet Union (1944-1991) Capital Moscow Language(s) Russian (the de facto official language), 14 other official languages Government Socialist republic Leaders  - 1922-1924 Vladimir Lenin  - 1924-1953 Joseph Stalin... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... Brzezinka (German: Birkenau) is a village in Poland, located about 3 km from Oswiecim. ... Tzigane redirects here; for the composition by Maurice Ravel, see Tzigane (Ravel). ... Monowitz (also called Monowice or Auschwitz III) is a subcamp or one of the three main camps of Nazi Extermination Camp Auschwitz. ... A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are engaged in penal labor. ... IG Farben (short for Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG) was a German conglomerate of companies formed in 1925 and even earlier during World War I. IG Farben held nearly a total monopoly on the chemical production, later during the time of Nazi Germany. ... Entrance to Trzebinia subcamp of the Auschwitz concentration camp, 1945 Below is the list of subcamps of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex. ...


Like all Nazi concentration camps, the Auschwitz camps were operated by Heinrich Himmler's SS. The commandants of the camp were the SS-Obersturmbannführers Rudolf Höß (often written "Hoess") until the summer of 1943, and later Arthur Liebehenschel and Richard Baer. Höß provided a detailed description of the camp's workings during his interrogations after the war and also in his autobiography. He was hanged in 1947 in front of the entrance to the crematorium of Auschwitz I. Command of the women's camp, which was separated from the men's area by the incoming railway line was exercised in turn by Johanna Langefeld, Maria Mandel, and Elisabeth Volkenrath.   (October 7, 1900 – May 23, 1945) was the commander of the German Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. ... The double-Sig Rune SS insignia. ... Rudolf Höß Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höß (in English commonly Hoess or Höss; November 25, 1900 – April 16, 1947) was an SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lt. ... Arthur Liebehenschel (1901 - 1948) was the commandant of Auschwitz and Majdanek death camps during World War II. Liebehenschel was born in Posen(PoznaÅ„) and studied economics and public administration. ... Richard Baer (September 9, 1911 - June 17, 1963) was a Nazi official with the rank of SS-Sturmbannführer and commander of the Auschwitz I concentration camp from May 1944 to February 1945. ... Cremation is the practice of disposing of a corpse by burning. ... Johanna Langefeld (March 5, 1900 - January 26, 1974) was a female supervisor at two concentration camps during the Nazi Regime. ... Maria Mandel (January 10, 1912 - January 24, 1948) was infamous for her key role in the Holocaust as a top-ranking official at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp where she is believed to have been directly responsible for orders to kill over 500,000 female Jews, Gypsies, and political prisoners. ... Categories: 1919 births | 1945 deaths | Holocaust | Nazi leaders | Personnel of Nazi concentration camps | People stubs ...


The camp

Auschwitz I

Auschwitz in winter.
Auschwitz in winter.

Auschwitz I served as the administrative center for the whole complex. It was founded on May 20, 1940, on the basis of an old Polish brick army barracks. A group of 728 Polish political prisoners from Tarnów became the first residents of Auschwitz on June 14 that year. The camp was initially used for interning Polish intellectuals and resistance movement members, then also for Soviet Prisoners of War. Common German criminals, "anti-social elements" and 48 German homosexuals were also imprisoned there. Jews were sent to the camp as well, beginning with the very first shipment (from Tarnów). At any time, the camp held between 13,000 and 16,000 inmates; in 1942 the number reached 20,000. The entrance to Auschwitz I was - and still is - marked with the ironic sign Arbeit Macht Frei, or “work (will) make (you) free.” The camp's prisoners who left the camp during the day for construction or farm labor were made to march through the gate to the sounds of an orchestra. Contrary to what is depicted in several films, the majority of the Jews were imprisoned in the Auschwitz II camp, and did not pass under this sign. Auschwitz - View of the Camp. ... Auschwitz - View of the Camp. ... May 20 is the 140th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (141st in leap years). ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Tarnów is a city in south-eastern Poland with 121,500 inhabitants (1995). ... June 14 is the 165th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (166th in leap years), with 200 days remaining. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ... Arbeit Macht Frei gate at KZ Sachsenhausen Arbeit Macht Frei at Auschwitz, with the inverted B. Arbeit Macht Frei at concentration camp Terezin in the Czech Republic. ...


The SS selected some prisoners, often German criminals, as specially privileged supervisors of the other inmates (so-called: kapo). The various classes of prisoners were distinguishable by special marks on their clothes; Jews were generally treated the worst. All inmates had to work in the associated arms factories; except Sundays, which were reserved for cleaning and showering and there were no work assignments. Kapo was a term used for certain prisoners who worked inside the Nazi concentration camps during World War II in various lower administrative positions. ...


The harsh work requirements, combined with poor nutrition and hygiene, led to high death rates among the prisoners. Block 11 of Auschwitz (the original standing cells and such were block 13) was the "prison within the prison", where violators of the numerous rules were punished. Some prisoners were made to spend the nights in "standing-cells". These cells were about 1.5 metres square, and four men would be placed in them; they could do nothing but stand, and were forced during the day to work with the other prisoners. In the basement were located the "starvation cells"; prisoners incarcerated here were given neither food nor water until they were dead. Also in the basement were the "dark cells"; these cells had only a very tiny window, and a solid door. Prisoners placed in these cells would gradually suffocate as they used up all of the oxygen in the air; sometimes the SS would light a candle in the cell to use up the oxygen more quickly. Many were subjected to hanging with their hands behind their backs, thus dislocating their shoulder joints for hours, even days.


The execution yard is between blocks 10 and 11. In this area, prisoners who were thought to merit individual execution received it. Some were shot, against a reinforced wall which still exists; others suffered a more lingering death by being suspended from hooks set in two wooden posts, which also still exist.

Entrance to Auschwitz I.
Entrance to Auschwitz I.

In September 1941, the SS conducted poison gas tests in block 11, killing 850 Poles and Russians using cyanide. The first experiment took place on 3 September 1941, and killed 600 Soviet POWs. The substance producing the highly lethal cyanide gas was sold under the trade name Zyklon B, originally for use as a pesticide used to kill lice. The tests were deemed successful, and a gas chamber and crematorium were constructed by converting a bunker. This gas chamber operated from 1941 to 1942, during which time some 60,000 people were killed therein; it was then converted into an air-raid shelter for the use of the SS. This gas chamber still exists, together with the associated crematorium, which was reconstructed after the war using the original components. Download high resolution version (427x653, 61 KB)Entrance to Auschwitz I, photograph taken in mid-March, 2002 by Uri Yanover. ... Download high resolution version (427x653, 61 KB)Entrance to Auschwitz I, photograph taken in mid-March, 2002 by Uri Yanover. ... Hydrogen cyanide is a chemical compound with chemical formula HCN. A solution of hydrogen cyanide in water is called hydrocyanic acid or Prussic acid. ... September 3 is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Soviet redirects here. ... Zyklon B label — Note that “Gift” translates as “poison” Zyklon B was the tradename of a pesticide ultimately used by Nazi Germany in some Holocaust gas chambers. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ...


The first women arrived in the camp on March 26, 1942. From April 1943 to May 1944, the gynecologist Prof. Dr. Carl Clauberg conducted sterilization experiments on Jewish women in block 10 of Auschwitz I, with the aim of developing a simple injection method to be used on the Slavic people. These experiments consisted largely of determining the effects of the injection of caustic chemicals into the uterus. This was extremely painful and many died during and shortly after. Dr. Josef Mengele, who is well known for his experiments on twins and dwarfs in the same complex, was the camp "doctor". He regularly performed gruesome experiments such as castration without anesthetics. Prisoners in the camp hospital who were not quick to recover were regularly killed by a lethal injection of phenol. March 26 is the 85th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (86th in leap years). ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Image:Carlclauberg. ... Josef Mengele Josef Mengele (March 16, 1911 – February 7, 1979), was a German SS officer and a physician in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. ... Lethal injection involves injecting a person with fatal doses of drugs to cause death. ... Phenol, also known under an older name of carbolic acid, is a colourless crystalline solid with a typical sweet tarry odor. ...


The camp brothel, established in the summer of 1943 on Himmler's order, was located in block 24 and was used to reward privileged prisoners. (The existence of a brothel has not been confirmed by female survivors of the camp.) It was staffed by women specifically selected for the purpose, and by some volunteers from the female prisoners, most of whom were raped by the Nazis.[citation needed]   (October 7, 1900 – May 23, 1945) was the commander of the German Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. ...


Auschwitz II (Birkenau)

Entrance, or so-called "death gate," to Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the extermination camp, in 2006.
Entrance, or so-called "death gate," to Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the extermination camp, in 2006.
"Selection" on the Judenrampe, May/June 1944. To be sent to the right meant assignment to a work detail; to the left, the gas chambers. This image shows the arrival of Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia, many of them from the Berehov ghetto; the image was taken by Ernst Hofmann or Bernhard Walter of the SS. The main entrance, or "death gate," is visible in the background. Courtesy of Yad Vashem. [1]
"Selection" on the Judenrampe, May/June 1944. To be sent to the right meant assignment to a work detail; to the left, the gas chambers. This image shows the arrival of Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia, many of them from the Berehov ghetto; the image was taken by Ernst Hofmann or Bernhard Walter of the SS. The main entrance, or "death gate," is visible in the background. Courtesy of Yad Vashem. [1]
Roll call in front of the camp kitchen; SS photograph, 1944.
Roll call in front of the camp kitchen; SS photograph, 1944.

Auschwitz II (Birkenau) is a camp that many people know simply as "Auschwitz" (it was larger than Auschwitz I, and more people passed through its gates than did those of Auschwitz I). It was the site of imprisonment of hundreds of thousands, and of the killing of over one million people, mainly Jews but also large numbers of Poles, and Gypsies, mostly through gassing. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3264x2448, 3232 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Auschwitz concentration camp User:Underneath-it-All/Sandbox Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3264x2448, 3232 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Auschwitz concentration camp User:Underneath-it-All/Sandbox Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added... Selection of Jews at the Birkenau Ramp, 1944 Image was downloaded from The Auschwitz Album. ... Selection of Jews at the Birkenau Ramp, 1944 Image was downloaded from The Auschwitz Album. ... // For other uses, see Gas chamber (disambiguation). ... // Carpathian Ruthenia, aka Transcarpathian Ruthenia, Subcarpathian Rus, Subcarpathia (Ukrainian: Karpats’ka Rus’; Slovak and Czech: Podkarpatská Rus; Hungarian: Kárpátalja; Romanian: Transcarpatia) is a small region of Central Europe, now mostly in western Ukraines Zakarpattia Oblast (Ukrainian: Zakarpats’ka oblast’) and easternmost Slovakia (largely in Prešov kraj... Berehove (in Ukrainian: Берегове (Berehove), in Ruthenian: Берегово (Berehovo), in Russian: Берегово (Beregovo), in Rumanian: Berg, in Hungarian: Beregszász, in German: Bergsaß, in Slovak and Czech: Berehovo) is a city in western Ukraine, Zakarpattia Oblast. ... An exterior view of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem. ... Image File history File links Auschwitz-Birkenau_roll_call_1944. ... Image File history File links Auschwitz-Birkenau_roll_call_1944. ... Tzigane redirects here; for the composition by Maurice Ravel, see Tzigane (Ravel). ...


The Nazis established Auschwitz in April 1940 under the direction of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. The camp originally housed political prisoners from occupied Poland and from concentration camps within Germany. Construction of nearby Birkenau (in Polish, Brzezinka), also known as Auschwitz II, began in October 1941, and a historic picture of that construction can be found.[5] Birkenau had four gas chambers, designed to resemble showers, and four crematoria, used to incinerate bodies. Approximately 40 more satellite camps were established around Auschwitz. These were forced labor camps and were known collectively as Auschwitz III. The first one was built at Monowitz and held Poles who had been forcibly evacuated from their hometowns by the Nazis. The inmates of Monowitz were forced to work in the chemical works of IG Farben. Heinrich Himmler as the Reichsführer-SS Reichsführer-SS was a special SS rank that existed between the years of 1925 and 1945. ...   (October 7, 1900 – May 23, 1945) was the commander of the German Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany. ... IG Farben (short for Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG) was a German conglomerate of companies formed in 1925 and even earlier during World War I. IG Farben held nearly a total monopoly on the chemical production, later during the time of Nazi Germany. ...


Prisoners were transported from all over Nazi-occupied Europe by rail, arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau in daily convoys. Arrivals at the complex were separated into four groups:

  • One group, about three-quarters of the total, went to the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau within a few hours; they included all children, all women with children, all the elderly, and all those who appeared on brief and superficial inspection by an SS doctor not to be fully fit. In the Auschwitz Birkenau camp more than 20,000 people could be gassed and cremated each day. At Birkenau, the Nazis used a cyanide gas produced from Zyklon B pellets, which were manufactured by two companies who had acquired licensing rights to the patent held by IG Farben. The two companies were Tesch & Stabenow, of Hamburg, who supplied two tons of the crystals each month, and Degesch, of Dessau, who produced three-quarters of a ton. The bills of lading were produced at Nuremburg.[6]
  • A second group of prisoners were used as slave labor at industrial factories for such companies as IG Farben and Krupp. At the Auschwitz complex 405,000 prisoners were recorded as slaves between 1940 and 1945. Of these about 340,000 perished through executions, beatings, starvation, and sickness. Some prisoners survived through the help of German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved about 1,100 Polish Jews by diverting them from Auschwitz to work for him, first in his factory near Kraków and later at a factory in what is now the Czech Republic.
  • A third group, mostly twins and dwarfs, underwent medical experiments at the hands of doctors such as Josef Mengele, who was also known as the “Angel of Death.”
  • The fourth group was composed of women who were selected to work in "Canada", the part of Birkenau where prisoners' belongings were sorted for use by Germans. The name "Canada" was very cynically chosen. In Poland it was - and is still - used as an expression used when viewing, for example, a valuable and fine gift. The expression comes from the time when Polish emigrants were sending gifts home from Canada.

The camp was staffed partly by prisoners, some of whom were selected to be kapos (orderlies) and sonderkommandos (workers at the crematoria). The kapos were responsible for keeping order in the barrack huts; the sonderkommando prepared new arrivals for gassing (ordering them to remove their clothing and surrender their personal possessions) and transferred corpses from the gas chambers to the furnaces, having first pulled out any gold that the victims might have had in their teeth. Members of these groups were killed periodically. The kapos and sonderkommandos were supervised by members of the SS; altogether 6,000 SS members worked at Auschwitz. The cyanide ion, CN−. From the top: 1. ... Zyklon B label — Note that “Gift” translates as “poison” Zyklon B was the tradename of a pesticide ultimately used by Nazi Germany in some Holocaust gas chambers. ... Hamburg from above Hamburgs motto: May the posterity endeavour with dignity to conserve the freedom, which the forefathers acquired. ... Dessau is a town in Germany on the junction of the rivers Mulde and Elbe, in the Bundesland (Federal State) of Saxony-Anhalt. ... For the U.S. town, see Krupp, Washington. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Josef Mengele Josef Mengele (March 16, 1911 – February 7, 1979), was a German SS officer and a physician in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. ... Sonderkommandos were work units of Nazi death camp prisoners forced to aid the killing process. ...


By 1943 resistance organizations had developed in the camp. These organizations helped a few prisoners escape; these escapees took with them news of exterminations, such as the killing of hundreds of thousands of Jews transported from Hungary between May and July 1944. In October 1944 a group of sonderkommandos destroyed one of the crematoria at Birkenau. They and their accomplices, a group of women from the Monowitz labor camp, were all put to death. It was also not uncommon if one prisoner escaped, selected persons in the escapee's block were killed.


When the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, they found about 7,600 survivors abandoned there. More than 58,000 prisoners had already been evacuated by the Nazis and sent on a final death march to Germany. In 1947, in remembrance of the victims, Poland founded a museum at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp. By 1994, some 22 million visitors — 700,000 annually — had passed through the iron gate crowned with the cynical motto, "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work makes one free"). January 27 is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... Arbeit Macht Frei gate at KZ Sachsenhausen Arbeit Macht Frei at Auschwitz, with the inverted B. Arbeit Macht Frei at concentration camp Terezin in the Czech Republic. ...


Auschwitz III and satellite camps

Also see List of subcamps of Auschwitz

The surrounding work camps were closely connected to German industry and were associated with arms factories, foundries and mines. The largest work camp was Auschwitz III Monowitz, named after the Polish village of Monowice. Starting operations in May 1942, it was associated with the synthetic rubber and liquid fuel plant Buna-Werke owned by I. G. Farben. In regular intervals, doctors from Auschwitz II would visit the work camps and select the weak and sick for the gas chambers of Birkenau. The largest subcamps were built at Trzebinia, Blechhammer and Althammer. Female subcamps were constructed at Budy , Plawy, Zabrze, Gleiwitz I, II, III, Rajsko and at Lichtenwerden (now Světlá). Entrance to Trzebinia subcamp of the Auschwitz concentration camp, 1945 Below is the list of subcamps of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex. ... Monowitz (also called Monowice or Auschwitz III) is a subcamp or one of the three main camps of Nazi Extermination Camp Auschwitz. ... IG Farben (short for Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG) was a German conglomerate of companies formed in 1925 and even earlier during World War I. IG Farben held nearly a total monopoly on the chemical production, later during the time of Nazi Germany. ... Trzebinia is a town in south Poland with 20,000 inhabitants (1995). ... Zabrze (pronounced: [zabʒε]; German: , from 1915-1945 Hindenburg) is a city in southern Poland with 194,041 inhabitants (2004). ... Motto: none Voivodship Silesian Municipal government Rada Miejska Gliwic Mayor Zygmunt Frankiewicz Area 134,2 km² Population  - city  - urban  - density 200,361 (December 31, 2004) - 1528/km² Founded City rights 1276 - Latitude Longitude 50°17 N 18°40 E Area code +48 32 Car plates SG Twin towns Bottrop, Dessau...


The whole Auschwitz complex of camps was liberated in early 1945 by the advancing Russian army.


Knowledge of the Allies

For more details on this topic, see Auschwitz bombing debate.
Photograph of Birkenau, taken May 31 1944, by a De Havilland Mosquito plane of the South African Air Force, sent to photograph the fuel factory at nearby Monowitz. The photographic analysts missed the significance of the photograph; it was identified only in the late 1970s and analyzed by the CIA in 1978. Smoke can be seen issuing from Crematorium V, indicating that a group of prisoners had recently been gassed.
Photograph of Birkenau, taken May 31 1944, by a De Havilland Mosquito plane of the South African Air Force, sent to photograph the fuel factory at nearby Monowitz. The photographic analysts missed the significance of the photograph; it was identified only in the late 1970s and analyzed by the CIA in 1978. Smoke can be seen issuing from Crematorium V, indicating that a group of prisoners had recently been gassed.

Some information regarding Auschwitz reached the Allies during 1941-1944, such as the reports of Witold Pilecki and Jerzy Tabeau, but the claims of mass killings were generally dismissed as exaggerations. This changed with receipt of the very detailed report of two escaped prisoners, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, which finally convinced most Allied leaders of the truth about Auschwitz in the middle of 1944. This is one of a series of aerial reconnaissance photographs of the Auschwitz concentration camp taken between April 4, 1944 and January 14, 1945 by Allied units under the command of the 15th U.S. Army Air Force. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (800x643, 119 KB) Summary An aerial photo of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp was taken by a De Havilland Mosquito plane of the 60 Photo-reconnaissance Squadron of the South African Air Force operating from southern Italy on 31/5/1944... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (800x643, 119 KB) Summary An aerial photo of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp was taken by a De Havilland Mosquito plane of the 60 Photo-reconnaissance Squadron of the South African Air Force operating from southern Italy on 31/5/1944... Birkenau may mean the following. ... May 31 is the 151st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (152nd in leap years), with 214 days remaining. ... The de Havilland Mosquito (The Wooden Wonder, also known as The Timber Terror) was a British combat aircraft that excelled in a number of roles during the Second World War. ... The South African Air Force roundel The South African Air Force (SAAF) (Afrikaans: Suid-Afrikaanse Lugmag) is the air force of South Africa. ... Monowitz (also called Monowice or Auschwitz III) is a subcamp or one of the three main camps of Nazi Extermination Camp Auschwitz. ... Cremation is the practice of disposing of a corpse by burning. ... Witold Pilecki (May 13, 1901 – May 25, 1948; pronounced [vitɔld pileʦki]; codenames Roman Jezierski, Tomasz Serafiński, Druh, Witold) was a soldier of the Second Polish Republic, founder of the resistance movement Secret Polish Army (Tajna Armia Polska) and member of the Home... Dr. Rudolf Vrba in 1997. ... Alfred Wetzler, alias Josef Lanik (1918-199?) was a Slovakian Jew who was one of the few people known to have escaped from the Auschwitz death camp. ...


Detailed air reconnaissance photographs of the camp were taken accidentally during 1944 by aircraft seeking to photograph nearby military-industrial targets, but no effort was made to analyse them. (In fact, it was not until the 1970s that these photographs of Auschwitz were looked at carefully.)


Starting with a plea from the Slovakian rabbi Weissmandl in May 1944, there was a growing campaign to convince the Allies to bomb Auschwitz or the railway lines leading to it. At one point Winston Churchill ordered that such a plan be prepared, but he was told that bombing the camp would most likely kill prisoners without disrupting the killing operation, and that bombing the railway lines was not technically feasible. Later several nearby military targets were bombed. One bomb accidentally fell into the camp and killed some prisoners. The debate over what could have been done, or what should have been attempted even if success was unlikely, has continued heatedly ever since. Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl (1903-1957) became famous for his tireless efforts to the save the Jews of Slovakia from extermination at Nazi hands during the European Holocaust. ... Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was an English statesman, soldier, and author, best known as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. ...


Birkenau revolt

On October 7, 1944, the Jewish Sonderkommandos (those inmates kept separate from the main camp and put to work in the gas chambers and crematoria) of Birkenau Kommando III staged an uprising. They attacked the SS with makeshift weapons: stones, axes, hammers, other work tools and homemade grenades. They caught the SS guards by surprise, overpowered them and blew up the Crematorium IV, using explosives smuggled in from a weapons factory by female inmates. At this stage they were joined by the Birkenau Kommando I of the Crematorium II, which also overpowered their guards and broke out of the compound. Hundreds of prisoners escaped, but were all soon captured and, along with an additional group who participated in the revolt, executed. The girls from the munitions factory were brutally tortured, but refused to name any of their co-conspirators. Destroyed crematoria were never rebuilt. October 7 is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Sonderkommandos were work units of Nazi death camp prisoners forced to aid the killing process. ... Prisoner may refer to the following: A person incarcerated in a prison or similar facility. ... Internment camp for Japanese in Canada during World War II Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. ... SS or ss or Ss may be: The Schutzstaffel, a Nazi paramilitary force Steamship (SS) (ship prefix) The United States Secret Service A submarine not powered by nuclear energy (SS) (United States Navy designator), see SSN A Soviet/Russian surface-to-surface missile, as listed by NATO reporting name Shortstop... Grenade may refer to: The well-known hand grenade commonly used by soldiers. ... Guards is an honorific title given to Red Army (Soviet Army) and Red Navy units who performed heroically during the Great Patriotic War (World War II). ... Gasoline explosions, simulating bomb drops at an airshow. ... This article is concerned solely with chemical explosives. ... A compound is an area of land that is surrounded by fences, walls, or barbed wire and is used for a particular purpose, especially an area containing buildings and where the entry and exit of people is controlled. ... This article is about revolution in the sense of a drastic change. ... Materiel (from the French for material) is the equipment and supplies in Military and commercial supply chain management. ... Aspects of torture Incrimination of innocent people One well documented effect of torture is that with rare exceptions people will say or do anything to escape the situation, including untrue confessions and implication of others without genuine knowledge, who may well then be tortured in turn. ...


There were also international plans for a general uprising in Auschwitz, coordinated with an Allied air raid and a Polish resistance attack from the outside. link titleThe word international can mean: Between nations or encompassing several nations. ... Uprising is another word for rebellion. ... Auschwitz, in English, commonly refers to the Auschwitz concentration camp complex built near the town of Oświęcim, by Nazi Germany during World War II. Rarely, it may refer to the Polish town of Oświęcim (called by the Germans Auschwitz) itself. ... In general, allies are people or groups that have joined an alliance and are working together to achieve some common purpose. ... Strategic bombing is a military strategem used in a total war style campaign that attempts to destroy the economic ability of a nation-state to wage war. ... The Armia Krajowa (Home Army) or AK functioned as the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II in German-occupied Poland, which was active in all areas of the country from September 1939 until its disbanding in January 1945. ...


Individual escape attempts

About 700 prisoners attempted to escape from the Auschwitz camps during the years of their operation, with about 300 attempts successful. A common punishment for escape attempts was death by starvation; the families of successful escapees were sometimes arrested and interned in Auschwitz and prominently displayed to deter others. If someone did manage to escape, the SS would kill ten random people from the prisoner's block. This was a quite persuasive method to discourage escape attempts.


Since the Nazi regime was designed to degrade prisoners to the standards of animals, maintaining the will to survive was seen in itself as an act of rebellion. Primo Levi described this attitude in 1979: "Precisely because the camp was a great machine to reduce us to beasts, we must not become beasts; that even in this place one can survive, and therefore one must want to survive, to tell the story, to bear witness."[citation needed]


In 1943 the 'Kampf Gruppe Auschwitz' was organised with the aim to send out as much information about what was happening in Auschwitz as possible. They buried notes in the ground in the hope a liberator would find them and smuggled out photos of the crematoria and gas chambers.


Evacuation and liberation

The gas chambers of Birkenau were blown up by the SS in November 1944 in an attempt to hide their crimes from the advancing Soviet troops. On January 17, 1945 Nazi personnel started to evacuate the facility; most of the prisoners were forced on a death march West. Those too weak or sick to walk were left behind; about 7,500 prisoners were liberated by the 322nd Infantry unit of the Red Army on January 27 1945. January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... Dachau concentration-camp inmates on a death march through a German village in April 1945. ... The 322nd Infantry was part of the Soviet Red Army during World War II. Is is most notable for liberating Auswitch in January 1945. ... The Workers and Peasants Red Army (Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия, Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya; RKKA or usually simply the Red Army) were the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918 and that in 1922 became the army of the Soviet Union. ... January 27 is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Death toll

The exact number of victims at Auschwitz is impossible to fix with certainty. Since the Nazis destroyed a number of records, immediate efforts to count the dead depended on the testimony of witnesses and the defendants on trial at Nuremberg. Nazi Rudolf Höß said that between 2.5 and 3 million had been killed, while Adolf Eichmann gave a figure of 2 million.[7] The Auschwitz Death Book, recently uncovered in Soviet archives, is an example of logged records, but other examples of collected figures are scarce.[citation needed] The Süddeutsche Zeitung announces The Verdict in Nuremberg. ... Rudolf Höß Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höß (in English commonly Hoess or Höss; November 25, 1900 – April 16, 1947) was an SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lt. ... Adolf Eichmann in Germany in 1940 Otto Adolf Eichmann (known as Adolf Eichmann; March 19, 1906 – May 31, 1962) was a high-ranking Nazi and SS Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel). ...


Communist Soviet and Polish authorities maintained a figure "between 2.5 and 4 million",[2] which was used on the original Auschwitz memorial.


In 1983, French scholar George Wellers was one of the first to use Nazi data on deportations to estimate the number killed at Auschwitz, arriving at 1.613 million dead, including 1.44 million Jews and 146,000 Catholic Poles. A larger study started around the same time by Franciszek Piper used time tables of train arrivals combined with deportation records to calculate 1.1 million Jewish deaths and 140,000-150,000 Catholic Polish victims, along with 23,000 Roma & Sinti (Gypsies). This number has met with "significant, though not complete" agreement among scholars. Additionally, large numbers of homosexual people and Jehovah's Witnesses were killed at Auschwitz. 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Franciszek Piper is a Polish scholar, historian, and author. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ...


According to Harmon and Drobnicki,[2] relevant estimates are in range between 800,000 and five million people. List of estimates in millions: 0.8-0.9,[8] 1,[9] 1-2.5,[10] 1.1[11][12][13] 1.1-1.5,[14] 1.13,[15] 1.2-2.5,[16] 1.5-3.5,[17] 1.6,[18][19] 2,[20] 2.3,[21] 2.5,[22][23] 2.5-4[24][25],[26][27] 2.8-4,[28] 3 (only Polish victims),[29] over 3,[30] 3.5,[31] 3.5-4.5,[32] 4-5[33]


Well-known inmates/victims

The English language memorial plate at Birkenau camp. The message is repeated in many languages.
The English language memorial plate at Birkenau camp. The message is repeated in many languages.

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1632x1185, 350 KB) An image of the English-language memorial in Birkenau camp, taken in July 2006 at the Nazi concentration camp in Oświęcim. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1632x1185, 350 KB) An image of the English-language memorial in Birkenau camp, taken in July 2006 at the Nazi concentration camp in Oświęcim. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... September 4 is the 247th day of the year (248th in leap years). ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Władysław Bartoszewski Władysław Bartoszewski (b. ... The Armia Krajowa (Home Army) or AK functioned as the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War II in German-occupied Poland, which was active in all areas of the country from September 1939 until its disbanding in January 1945. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... George Brady , brother of Hana Brady (Bradova), was born in 1928, in Nove Mesto, Czechoslovakia. ... Hana Brady Hana Brady (Hana Hanička Bradová, Germanized in the tag in her suitcase as Hanna Brady) (May 16, 1931 in Nové Město na Moravě – 1944) was a Jewish girl and Holocaust victim. ... Leo Bretholz is a holocaust survivor, and is also a survivor of Auschwitz. ... Leap into Darkness is a book that was written by Leo Bretholz. ... Annelies Marie Anne Frank (June 12, 1929 – beginning of March, 1945) was a European Jewish girl (born in Germany, stateless since 1941, but she aimed to be Dutch as she grew up in the Netherlands) who wrote a diary while in hiding with her family and four friends in Amsterdam... For other uses, see [[Bergen-Belsen (disambiguation)]]. Bergen-Belsen, (or Belsen) was a Nazi concentration camp in Lower Saxony, southwest of the town of Bergen near Celle. ... Viktor Emil Frankl, M.D., Ph. ... Kurt Gerron Kurt Gerron (May 11, 1897 – November 15, 1944) was a German Jewish actor and film director during the Nazi period. ... November 15 is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 46 days remaining. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Dora Gerson Dora Gerson (March 23, 1899 - February 14, 1943) was a Jewish German cabaret singer and motion picture actress of the silent film era who was notoriously murdered with her family at Auschwitz. ... February 14 is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... Pavel Haas (born 21 June 1899 in Brno, died 17 October 1944 in the Concentration Camp of Auschwitz) was a Czech composer. ... October 17 is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Regina Jonas (August 3, 1902 - September 2, December 12, 1944) was a Berlin-born woman rabbi. ... October 12 is the 285th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (286th in leap years). ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Yitzhak Katzenelson Yitzhak Katzenelson (Hebrew: , Yiddish: ; also transcribed Icchak-Lejb Kacenelson, Jizchak Katzenelson; Yitzhok Katznelson) (1886–1944) was a Jewish teacher, poet and dramatist. ... May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Maximilian Kolbe (January 8, 1894–August 14, 1941), also known as Maksymilian or Massimiliano Maria Kolbe and Apostle of Consecration to Mary, born as Rajmund Kolbe, was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland. ... August 14 is the 226th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (227th in leap years), with 139 days remaining. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Primo Levi (July 31, 1919 – April 11, 1987) was a Jewish Italian chemist, Holocaust survivor and author of memoirs, short stories, poems, and novels. ... Arnošt Lustig (born 21 December 1921 in Prague) is a renowned Czech Jewish author of novels, short stories, plays and screenplays whose works have often involved the Holocaust. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Irène Némirovsky at the age of 25 Irène Némirovsky (born February 11, 1903, Kiev, died August 17, 1942, Auschwitz, Poland) was a Jewish novelist and biographer born in the Ukraine, who lived and worked in France. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Felix Nussbaum (December 11, 1904-1944) was a Jewish German painter. ... Vladek Spiegelman is the subject of the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel MAUS. ... Art Spiegelman (born February 15, 1948) is an American comics artist, editor and advocate for the medium of comics, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning comic memoir, Maus. ... Maus: A Survivors Tale is a memoir presented as a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman. ... Edith Stein (October 12, 1891 – August 9, 1942) was a philosopher, a Carmelite nun, martyr, and saint of the Catholic Church, who died at Auschwitz. ... August 9 is the 221st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (222nd in leap years), with 144 days remaining. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). ... For the movie, see 1941 (film). ... Eliezer Wiesel (commonly known as Elie) (born September 30[1], 1928) is a world-renowned Romanian-Hungarian Jewish novelist, philosopher, humanitarian, political activist, and Holocaust survivor. ... Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko (Ukrainian: ) (born February 23, 1954) is the current President of Ukraine. ...

After the war

After the war, the camp served through most of 1945 as an NKVD prison, then for several years remained in a state of disrepair. The Buna Werke were taken over by the Polish government and became the foundation for the region's chemical industry. The NKVD (Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del )(Russian: НКВД, Народный комиссариат внутренних дел) or Peoples Commisariat for Internal Affairs was a government department which handled a number of the Soviet Unions affairs of state. ...


The Polish government then decided to restore Auschwitz I and turn it into a museum honouring the victims of Nazism; Auschwitz II, where buildings (many of which were prefabricated wood structures) were prone to decay, was preserved but not restored. Today, the Auschwitz I museum site combines elements from several periods into a single complex: for example the gas chamber at Auschwitz I (which had been converted into an air-raid shelter for the SS) was restored and the fence was moved (because of building being done after the war but before the establishment of the museum). However, in most cases the departure from the historical truth is minor, and is clearly labelled. The museum contains very large numbers of men's, women's and children's shoes taken from their victims; also suitcases, which the deportees were encouraged to bring with them, and many household utensils. One display case, some 30 metres long, is wholly filled with human hair which the Nazis gathered from the people before and after they were slaughtered. National Socialism redirects here. ...

UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ruins at Birkenau, with brick chimneys (presumably belonging to wooden barracks) being prominent, 2002.
UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ruins at Birkenau, with brick chimneys (presumably belonging to wooden barracks) being prominent, 2002.

Auschwitz II and the remains of the gas chambers there are also open to the public. The Auschwitz concentration camp is part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The ashes of the victims of the SS were scattered between the huts, and the entire area is seen as a grave site. Download high resolution version (1035x354, 86 KB)Ruins at Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Birkenau), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. ... Download high resolution version (1035x354, 86 KB)Ruins at Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Birkenau), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. ... Elabana Falls is in Lamington National Park, part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves World Heritage site in Queensland, Australia. ... Birkenau may mean the following. ... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... Elabana Falls is in Lamington National Park, part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves World Heritage site in Queensland, Australia. ...


Most of the buildings of Auschwitz I are still standing. Many of them are now used as museums. The public entrance area (with bookshop, etc.) is outside the perimeter fence in what was the camp admission building, where new prisoners were registered and given their uniforms, etc.


Most of the buildings of Birkenau were burnt down by the Germans as the Russians came near, and much of the resulting brick rubble was removed in 1945 by the area's returning Polish population to rebuild farm buildings before winter. That explains the "missing rubble" cited as evidence by Holocaust deniers. By the site of its gas chambers and incinerators are piles of broken bricks which were thrown aside in the search for fallen re-usable intact bricks. A typical North American grain farm with farmstead in Ontario, Canada A farm is the basic unit in agriculture. ... Richard Harwoods Did Six Million Really Die? Holocaust denial is the claim that the mainstream historical version of the Holocaust is either highly exaggerated or completely falsified. ... // For other uses, see Gas chamber (disambiguation). ... This article needs cleanup. ...


At the far end of Birkenau are memorial plaques in many languages including Romani. The memorial at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii commemorates American dead from wars in the Pacific. ... The word plaque or placque may mean: Wiktionary has related dictionary definitions, such as: plaque, placque Dental plaque, a yellowish film that builds up on the teeth Atheromatous plaque, a buildup of fatty deposits within the wall of a blood vessel Mucoid plaque, a supposed thick coating of plaque in... Romani (or Romany) is the language of the Roma and Sinti, peoples often referred to in English as Gypsies. The Indo-Aryan Romani language should not be confused with either Romanian (spoken by Romanians), or Romansh (spoken in parts of southeastern Switzerland), both of which are Romance languages. ...


In 1979, the newly elected Polish Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass on the grounds of Auschwitz II to some 500,000 people. After the pope had announced that Edith Stein would be beatified, some Catholics erected a cross near bunker 2 of Auschwitz II where she had been gassed. A short while later, a Star of David appeared at the site, leading to a proliferation of religious symbols there; eventually they were removed. Coat of Arms of Pope John Paul II. The Letter M is for Mary, the mother of Jesus, to whom he held strong devotion Pope John Paul II (Latin: ), (Italian: Giovanni Paolo II), born   [] (May 18, 1920, Wadowice, Poland – April 2, 2005, Vatican City) reigned as Pope of the Roman... For other uses of Mass, see Mass (disambiguation). ... Edith Stein (October 12, 1891 – August 9, 1942) was a philosopher, a Carmelite nun, martyr, and saint of the Catholic Church, who died at Auschwitz. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Star of David The Star of David in the oldest surviving complete copy of the Masoretic text, the Leningrad Codex, dated 1008. ...


Carmelite nuns opened a convent near Auschwitz I in 1984. After some Jewish groups called for the removal of the convent, representatives of the Catholic Church agreed in 1987. One year later the Carmelites erected the 8 metre (26 ft) tall cross from the 1979 mass near their site, just outside block 11 and barely visible from within the camp. This led to protests by Jewish groups, who said that mostly Jews were killed at Auschwitz and demanded that religious symbols be kept away from the site. Some Catholics have pointed out that the people killed in Auschwitz I (as opposed to Auschwitz II) were mainly Polish Catholics (including at least one Catholic saint, Maximilian Kolbe). The Catholic Church told the Carmelites to move by 1989, but they stayed on until 1993, leaving the large cross behind. In 1998, after further calls to remove the cross, some 300 smaller crosses were erected by local activists near the large one, leading to further protests and heated exchanges. Following an agreement between the Polish Catholic Church and the Polish government, the smaller crosses were removed in 1999 but the large papal one remains. See Auschwitz cross for more details. The Order of Our Lady of Mt. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... Maximilian Kolbe (January 8, 1894–August 14, 1941), also known as Maksymilian or Massimiliano Maria Kolbe and Apostle of Consecration to Mary, born as Rajmund Kolbe, was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


In 1996, Germany made 27 January, the day of the liberation of Auschwitz, the official day for the commemoration of the victims of 'National Socialism'. January 27 is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The European Parliament marked the anniversary of the camp's liberation in 2005 with a minute of silence and the passage of this resolution: 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...

"27 January 2005, the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Nazi Germany's death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where a combined total of up to 1.5 million Jews, Roma, Poles, Russians and prisoners of various other nationalities, were murdered, is not only a major occasion for European citizens to remember and condemn the enormous horror and tragedy of the Holocaust, but also for addressing the disturbing rise in anti-semitism, and especially anti‑semitic incidents, in Europe, and for learning anew the wider lessons about the dangers of victimising people on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, social classification, politics or sexual orientation." January 27 is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... The Roma people (pronounced rahma, singular Rom, sometimes Rroma, and Rrom) along with the closely related Sinti people are commonly known as Gypsies in English, and as Tsigany in most of Europe. ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... This article concerns the term race as used in reference to human beings. ... The concept of ethnic origin is an attempt to classify people, not according to their current nationality, but according to where their ancestors came from. ... Politics is the process by which groups make decisions. ...

Other controversies

For many years, a memorial plaque placed at the camp by the Soviet authorities stated that 4 million people had been murdered at Auschwitz. The Polish communist government also supported this figure. In the west, this figure was accepted, but some historians had their doubts.[2]


After the collapse of the Communist government in 1989, the plaque was removed and the official death toll given as 1.1 million. Holocaust deniers have attempted to use this change as propaganda, in the words of Nizkor: Richard Harwoods Did Six Million Really Die? Holocaust denial is the claim that the mainstream historical version of the Holocaust is either highly exaggerated or completely falsified. ... An Australian anti-conscription propaganda poster from World War One Propaganda is a type of message aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of people. ...

"Deniers often use the 'Four Million Variant' as a stepping stone to leap from an apparent contradiction to the idea that the Holocaust was a hoax, again perpetrated by a conspiracy. They hope to discredit historians by making them seem inconsistent. If they can't keep their numbers straight, their reasoning goes, how can we say that their evidence for the Holocaust is credible? One must wonder which historians they speak of, as most have been remarkably consistent in their estimates of a million or so dead. In short, all of the denier's blustering about the 'Four Million Variant' is a specious attempt to envelope the reader into their web of deceit, and it can be discarded after the most rudimentary examination of published histories."

[34] The "Auschwitz Death Book" is used by deniers for the same purpose; since this single source contains an elaborate list of victim names, deniers have come to regard it as conclusive, although this fails to match testimony and the findings of reputable Holocaust historians.


Recently the Polish media and the foreign ministry of Poland have voiced objections to the use of the expression "Polish death camp" in relation to Auschwitz, as they feel that phrase might misleadingly suggest that Poles (rather than Germans) perpetrated the Holocaust. Most media outlets now show awareness of the offence this may cause, and try to avoid using such expressions (or issue an apology after using them.[35] On April 1, 2006, a Polish Culture Ministry spokesman said that the government requested that UNESCO change the name from "Auschwitz Concentration Camp" to "Former Nazi German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau" to emphasize that the camp was run by German Nazis and not by Poles.[36] On July 12, 2006, UNESCO deferred a decision on Poland's request, pending further consultation.[37] The term Polish death camps (sometimes also Polish concentration camps) is used to describe Nazi concentration camps located in German-occupied Poland during the World War II. It is sometimes used by international media when describing the Holocaust. ... April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 274 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... July 12 is the 193rd day (194th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 172 days remaining. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


The Polish film directors Andrzej Munk and Andrzej Wajda were both given permission to film in Auschwitz for the films Pasażerka and Krajobraz Po Bitwie respectively. The TV-miniseries War and Remembrance also shot the Holocaust scenes in Auschwitz. However, permission was denied to Steven Spielberg for Schindler's List. Subsequently, a "mirror" camp was constructed outside the infamous archway for the scene where the train arrives carrying the women Schindler was trying to save. Andrzej Munk (October 16, 1921–September 20, Polish film director, screenplay writer and camera operator and was one of the most influential artists of the Polish Film School. ... Andrzej Wajda, Warsaw (Poland), May 2006 Andrzej Wajda (born March 6, 1926) is a Polish film director, one of the most prominent members of the Polish Film School. ... Passenger (Polish Pasażerka) is a 1961 film by Andrzej Munk. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Schindlers List is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Grammy winning 1993 movie based on the book Schindlers Ark by Thomas Keneally, published in the United States as Schindlers List and subsequently re-issued in Commonwealth countries under that name as well. ...


In February 2006, Poland refused to grant visas to Iranian researchers who were planning to visit Auschwitz.[38] Polish Foreign Minister Stefan Meller said his country should stop Iran from investigating the scale of the Holocaust, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed as false. In Poland, denying the Holocaust by propagating "public and contradicting facts" is a crime punished by a sentence of up to 3 years in prison (article 55, Dz.U. 1998 nr 155 poz. 1016). Stefan Meller (born July 4, 1942, Lyon, France) is a Polish diplomat. ... The President of Iran holds a very important office in Irans political establishment. ...   (Persian: ‎ ​, IPA: ), transcribed into English as Mahmud or Mahmood, Ahmadinezhad, Ahmadi-Nejad, Ahmadi Nejad, Ahmady Nejad) (born October 28, 1956) is the current president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. ... Broadly speaking, a contradiction is an incompatibility between two or more statements, ideas, or actions. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Gutman, Yisrael. "Auschwitz—An Overview" in Gutman, Yisrael & Berenbaum, Michael. Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, Indiana University Press, 1994; this edition 1998, p. 17.
  2. ^ a b c d Brian Harmon, John Drobnicki, Historical sources and the Auschwitz death toll estimates
  3. ^ Piper, Franciszek & Meyer, Fritjof. "Die Zahl der Opfer von Auschwitz. Neue Erkentnisse durch neue Archivfunde", Osteuropa, 52, Jg., 5/2002, pp. 631-641, (review article).
  4. ^ Piper, Franciszek Piper. "The Number of Victims" in Gutman, Yisrael & Berenbaum, Michael. Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, Indiana University Press, 1994; this edition 1998, p. 62.
  5. ^ http://isurvived.org/birkenau-1side.html here
  6. ^ Nuremburg Trial Documentation
  7. ^ http://cgi.stanford.edu/group/wais/cgi-bin/index.php?p=2963
  8. ^ Reitlinger, Gerald. The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945. South Brunswick: T. Yoseloff, 1968, p. 500.
  9. ^ Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1961, p. 572.
  10. ^ Encyclopedia Judaica, Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1974. p. 855.
  11. ^ Dawidowicz, Lucy. The War Against the Jews. New York: Bantam Books, 1979, p. 191.
  12. ^ Piper, Franciszek. "The Number of Victims" in Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp. Washington D.C and Bloomington: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Indiana University Press, 1994, pp. 68-72.
  13. ^ Sofsky, Wolfgang. The Order of Terror: The Concentration Camp. Trans. William Templer. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997, p. 43 in Galleys.
  14. ^ Sweibocka, Teresa. Auschwitz: A History in Photographs. Bloomington and Warsaw: Indiana University Press and Ksiazka I Wiedza, 1993, pp. 287-288.
  15. ^ Höss, Rudolf. Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant of Auschwitz. ed. by Steven J. Palusky, trans. by Andrew Pollinger. Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1992, p. 391.
  16. ^ Weiss, A. "Categories of Camps, Their character and Role in the Execution of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question," in The Nazi Concentration Camps, Jerusalem: Yad Veshem, 1984, pp. 132.
  17. ^ Bauer, Yehuda. A History of the Holocaust. New York: F. Watts. 1982. p. 215.
  18. ^ ______. "Danger of Distortion, Poles and Jews alike are supplying those who deny the Holocaust with the best possible arguments," Jerusalem Post, 30 September 1989.
  19. ^ Wellers, Georges. "Essai de determination du nombre de morts au camp d'Auschwitz" Le Monde Juif, Oct-December 1983, pp. 127-159.
  20. ^ Billig, Joseph. Les camps de concentration dans l'economie du Reich hitlerien. Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1973. pp. 101-102.
  21. ^ Polaikov, Leon. Harvest of Hate Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1956, p. 202.
  22. ^ "Auschwitz." The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book, 1980.
  23. ^ Kamenetksy, Ihor. Secret Nazi Plans for Eastern Europe. New Haven: College and University Press, 1961, p. 174.
  24. ^ "Brestrafung der Verbrecher von Auschwitz," in Auschwitz: Geschichte und Wirklichkeit des Vernichtungslagers. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowolt, 1980, p. 211.
  25. ^ Czech, D. "Konzentrationslager Auschwitz: Abriss der Geschichte," in Auschwitz: Geschichte und Wirklichkeit des Konzentrationslagers. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowolt, 1980, p. 42.
  26. ^ Dunin-Wasowicz, Krzysztof. Resistance in the Nazi concentration camps, 1933-1945. Warsaw: PWN-Polish Scientific Publishers, 1982, p. 44.
  27. ^ Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939-1945: informator encyklopedyczny. Warsaw: Panst. Wydaw. Naukowe DSP, 1979, p. 369.
  28. ^ Madajczyk, Czeslaw. Polityka III Rzeszy w okupowanej Polsce; okupacja Polski, 1939-1945. Warsaw: Panstwowe Wydawn Naukowe, 1970, pp. 293-94.
  29. ^ Gilbert, Martin. Atlas of the Holocaust. New York: Pergamon Press, 1988.
  30. ^ Lane, Arthur Bliss. Saw Poland Betrayed: An American Ambassador Reports to the American People. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1948, p. 39
  31. ^ ______. "Foreword," in Müller, Filip. Eyewitness Auschwitz. New York: Stein and Day, 1979, p. xi.
  32. ^ Kogon, Eugen. Der SS Staat. Berlin, 1974, p. 157.
  33. ^ Friedman, Filip. This Was Oswiecim: The Story of a Murder Camp. Translated from the Yiddish original by Joseph Leftwich. London: The United Jewish Relief Appeal, 1946, p. 14.
  34. ^ Nizkor, The Auschwitz Gambit: The Four Million Variant
  35. ^ See, for example, this 2005 note in The Guardian.
  36. ^ Poland seeks to change official name of Auschwitz death camp, Haaretz, 2 April 2006
  37. ^ Clarification regarding the decision on Auschwitz Concentration Camp
  38. ^ Poland to Bar Iranian Team from Auschwitz, Payvand, 18 February 2006

The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ... February 18 is the 49th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

See also

In a February 26, 1942, letter to German diplomat Martin Luther, Reinhard Heydrich follows up on the Wannsee Conference by asking Luther for administrative assistance in the implementation of the Endlösung der Judenfrage (Final Solution of the Jewish Question). ... Concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust The Holocaust was Nazi Germanys systematic genocide (ethnic cleansing) of various ethnic, religious, national, and secular groups during World War II. Early elements include the Kristallnacht pogrom and the T-4 Euthanasia Program established by Hitler that killed some 200,000 people. ... The Auschwitz Album is a unique photographic record of the Holocaust of the Second World War. ... The Holocaust}} Extermination camps were the facilities constructed by Nazi Germany in World War II where the Nazis systematically killed millions of Jews as part of what was later deemed The Holocaust[1]. Bodies of those killed by the Nazis were usually either cremated or buried in mass graves. ... The following is a list of German concentration camps during World War II. are marked with pink, while major concentration camps of are marked with blue. ... Dr. Rudolf Vrba in 1997. ... At the Battle of Austerlitz (December 2, 1805), during the Napoleonic War of the Third Coalition, a French force of approximately 73,000 under Napoleon decisively defeated a joint Russo_Austrian force of over 89,000, commanded by Russian General Kutuzov with General von Weyrother commanding the Austrian contingent. ...

Further reading

  • Gilbert, Martin. Auschwitz and the Allies. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1981. Photographs, maps. ISBN 0-03-057058-1
  • Doyle, John. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Great Britain: David Fickling Books, 2006. ISBN 0-385-75106-0
  • Muller, Filip. Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chamber. Ivan R Dee Inc, 1999. ISBN 1-56663-271-4

External links

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Coordinates: 50°02′09″N, 19°10′42″E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...



  Results from FactBites:
 
BIGpedia - Auschwitz concentration camp - Encyclopedia and Dictionary Online (3335 words)
Auschwitz is the name loosely used to identify three main Nazi German concentration camps and 45-50 sub-camps.
Auschwitz I, the original concentration camp which served as the administrative centre for the whole complex, and was the site of the deaths of roughly 70,000 Polish intellectuals, gay men and Soviet Prisoners of War
He was hanged in 1947 in front of the entrance to the crematorium of Auschwitz I. About 700 prisoners attempted to escape from the Auschwitz camps during the years of their operation, with about 300 attempts successful.
Nazi concentration camps - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1284 words)
None ever were actual concentration camps, whose purpose was to concentrate and detain large groups of people at specific locations (examples of which are the British camps during the 2nd Anglo-Boer War and the American Internment Camps during the 2nd World War).
These death camps, including Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz-Birkenau are often referred to as "concentration camps," though scholars of the Holocaust draw a distinction between concentration camps and death camps.
Sometimes the concentration camps were used to hold important prisoners, such as the generals involved in the attempted assassination by bomb of Hitler, U-Boat captain turned Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller, and Admiral Wilhelm Canaris who was interned at Flossenburg in February 7, 1945, until he was hanged on April 9th, shortly before the war's end.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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