It lies near Krakow in Poland, used by the Nazis during the Second World War as part of the plan the Final Solution.
The Nazis built Auschwitz in April 1940 under the direction of Heinrich Himmler, chief of two Nazi organizations (the SS and Gestapo secret police). The Auschwitz camp initially held political prisoners from occupied Poland from other concentration camps in Germany. The construction of Birkenau (a few kilometers away from Auschwitz), also known asAuschwitz II, began in October 1941 and included a section of women from August 1942. Birkenau had four gas chambers, designed with the aim to resemble showers, and four crematoria, used to incinerate the bodies. Approximately 40 satellite camps were built nearby Auschwitz and labor camps and known as Auschwitz III. The first was built in Monowitz and held Poles who had been forced by the Nazis to flee their towns.
The prisoners were transported by train across Europe under the Nazi occupation. Arrived at the complex were divided into three groups. One group, after a few hours, was taken to Birkenau, where it was possible to gas and cremate about 20,000 people in one day. At Birkenau, the Nazis used a gas called Zyklon-B gas chambers. A second group of prisoners were used for slave labor in factories and companies IG Farben and Krupp (arms) and was in the Auschwitz complex, 405,000 prisoners registered in this situation between 1940 and 1945.Of these, about 340,000 perished due to executions, abuse, hunger and disease. Some prisoners survived, with the help of German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved about 1,000 Polish Jews by making them its workers in its first factory near Kraków and later in Czechoslovakia. The third group, mostly twins and dwarfs, was used for medical experiments by doctors such as Josef Mengele, also known as Angel of Death.
Employees of the field were largely prisoners. Some of them were selected to be vigilant (Kapos) and others to be in the crematoria workers (Sonderkommando) from the field, members of these groups being killed regularly. The prisoners were controlled by members of the SS, there are altogether 6,000 to work in Auschwitz.
In 1943, the resistance organizations began to organize themselves in the camp. These organizations aided the escape of some prisoners, and fugitives from the news of mass murder as the killing of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Hungary between May and July 1944. In October 1944 a group of workers of the crematoria destroyed one of the gas chambers of Birkenau camp. They and their accomplices, as a group of rural women working Monowitz were murdered.
When the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, found about 7,600 survivors abandoned there. More than 58,000 prisoners had been evacuated by the Nazis, and finally killed in Germany.
In 1946 Poland founded a museum at the site of the concentration camp at Auschwitz in memory of their victims. In 1994, about 22 million visitors (700,000 annually) were then pierced the gate where he was writing cynically: Work makes you free.
The english version of this article will be available soon. In the meanwhile, the text above was the result of a Google translation from portuguese version to english.