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Concentration Camp Auschwitz

Just as in Germany and Austria previously, Nazi rule required concentration camps in Poland. Nazi leaders chose the peaceful agrarian village of Oświęcim, located along an important railroad line, as the location for the Auschwitz concentration camp. Auschwitz became synonymous with mass murder, the place where an estimated 1.6 million people were put to death in the Holocaust from 1941 to 1945. Its infamous commandant, Rudolf Höss, arrived to establish the facility on April 29, 1940, and the first transport of prisoners, consisting of 708 Poles and 20 Jews from Tarnów, arrived May 30. Auschwitz opened officially on June 14,1940, and was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. next >>

Below, top: A February 28, 1942, formular envelope mailed by prisoner number 205 (first transport) to Tarnów. Boxed red censor mark on the back. Below, bottom: An unmailed post card published by the Auschwitz Museum after World War II shows the camp crematorium in 1943, location of an unsuccessful prisoners' revolt in 1943.




Courtesy of The Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation. Ex-Ken Lawrence exhibit.


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