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Genocide Commemorated
Auschwitz was the scene of the martyrdom of millions of people during World War II, being as it was, the largest Nazi concentration camp in German-occupied Europe. Here the Germans were carrying out their genocidal plan of exterminating whole nations, mainly Jews and Poles. The exact number of victims is difficult to establish. Most probably about 1,100,000 people of 28 nationalities perished in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps; the majority of them were Jews brought from different countries.
Auschwitz-Birkenau / © Polish Tourist OrganisationAuschwitz-Birkenau / © Polish Tourist Organisation
The concentration camp named Auschwitz I was established in April 1940 on the outskirts of Oświęcim. The first transportations of prisoners came in June of the same year. After entering the site through the camp gate with the inscription “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes Free), visitors tour prison blocks in which an exhibition of the Auschwitz- Birkenau State Museum is arranged. The display contains evidence of the genocide, including personal items taken from the victims as well as photographs and documents.
The main extermination centre and the world’s largest cemetery, Birkenau, was built in the suburbs of Oświęcim in 1942. Some barracks and ruins of the crematoria and gas chambers can be seen there today. The International Camp Victims Memorial was unveiled in 1967 to commemorate the murdered people. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial is visited by great numbers of pilgrims from all over the world. Many heads of state on official visits to Poland also come here to pay homage to the victims of Nazi genocide. The March of the Living event organized here every year is a symbol of international reconciliation.


Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp: Location

Poland GPS latitude/longitude: 50.02759 , 19.21028


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