All over the world, Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust. It was established by the German Nazis in 1940, in the suburbs of Oswiecim, a Polish city that was annexed to the Third Reich. Its name was changed to Auschwitz, which also became the name of Konzentrationslager Auschwitz.
The direct reason for the establishment of the camp was the fact that mass arrests of Poles were increasing beyond the capacity of existing “local” prisons. Initially, Auschwitz was to be a huge concentration camp of the type that the Nazis had been setting up since the early 1930s. It functioned in this role throughout its existence, even when, beginning in 1942, it also became the largest of the death camps where German Nazis planned to murder Jews living at the areas occupied by the Third Reich as a part of the „Endlösung der Judenfrage” (Final Solution of the Jewish Question”)
The Auschwitz Memorial preserves two parts of the former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
Learn more at www.auschwitz.org