German name for the town of Oswiecim in Southern Poland, which was the site of a concentration camp.

Built in 1940, the camp was initially intended for Polish political prisoners. Later political prisoners from other countries were deported to the camp as well. They died of exhaustion, starvation, infectious diseases and excessively hard labour or were executed upon arrival.
In late March 1941 the extermination camp Birkenau was built a few kilometres from Auschwitz. From 1942 Auschwitz-Birkenau became the largest concentration and extermination camp for Jews in Europe. Men, women and children were gassed immediately upon arrival or gradually worked to death under inhuman conditions including starvation and torture. Approximately 1.5 million Jews were killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau. For additional information on Auschwitz, see the official website of the Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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