Auschwitz Birkenau Museum - the Former Nazi German Concentration Camp of Auschwitz

Auschwitz II (Birkenau, pronounced BERK-IN-NOW) is the camp that many people know simply as “Auschwitz”. It was the site of the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands, and the killings of over one million people, mainly Jews, Poles, and gypsies.

The Nazis established Auschwitz in April 1940 under the direction of Heinrich Himmler, chief of two Nazi organizations—the Nazi guards known as the Schutzstaffel (SS), and the secret police known as the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei). The camp at Auschwitz originally housed political prisoners from occupied Poland and from concentration camps within Germany. Construction of nearby Birkenau (Brzezinka), also known as Auschwitz II, began in October 1941, and a historic picture of that construction can be found here. 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 I G Farben.

[Source, more info at: Wikipedia]

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