Remembering 75 years of Auschwitz liberation through maps

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“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

Courtesy: USHMM

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

Courtesy: auschwitz.org

Ishveena is a geospatial enthusiast and a veteran of creating and managing compelling digital content for organizations and individuals. When she is not making magic at her desk, you are likely to find her exploring nature, eating her way through life, or binge-watching funny animal videos.