“Death, death, death. Death at night, death in the morning, death in the afternoon. Death. We lived with death. How could a human feel?”
– Pavel Stenkin, Russian POW, Auschwitz
Nazi Germany’s largest concentration and extermination camps, Auschwitz, was established in 1940 in the suburbs of Polish city of Oswiecim. Though there is no concrete answer for how many people were sent to Auschwitz during the World War II, it is estimated that between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people died at the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau camps; 90% of them Jews. Auschwitz was finally liberated on January 27, 1945, by Soviet troops. On the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation today, here is a look back at the site which had become a virtual synonym for the Holocaust.
Where is Auschwitz?
Auschwitz is located near the industrial town of Oświęcim in southern Poland, about 70 km from Krakow.
Courtesy: Smithsonian/Guilbert Gates
How many camps were there in Auschwitz?
The Auschwitz camp complex constituted of three large camps: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II (Birkenau), and Auschwitz III (Monowitz).
Auschwitz I Camp, 1944
Auschwitz II (Birkenau) Camp, Summer 1944
Auschwitz III (Monowitz) Camp, 1944
Music for controlling and torturing prisoners
Below is a digital rendering of the ‘musical geography’ of Auschwitz Camp II (Birkenau), as compiled by a Stanford researcher. The red circles indicate where the ‘forced music’ played by guards could be heard, while the blue circles illustrate how the ‘voluntary music’ of the inmates spread throughout the camp.
Auschwitz and other Nazi extermination camps
Millions were killed in six primary exterminations camps where the Nazis implemented the ‘final solution’
Courtesy: Washington Post
Identifying every Jewish victim of Auschwitz
Activists are trying to identify each and every Jewish victim of Auschwitz
Courtesy: The Economist
International status of education about the Holocaust
A UNESCO research compared high school textbooks in 139 countries and territories in 2015 and discovered that only 57 countries described the Holocaust directly
Courtesy: UNESCO/Georg Eckert Institute
Official flight restriction zone over Auschwitz
Auschwitz Museum is probably the first museum in the world for which an official flight restriction zone was established in mid-2019