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Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide and the Holocaust. It was established by the Germans in 1940, in the suburbs of Oświęcim, as incorporated by the Nazis to the Third Reich.

The immediate reason for the establishment of the camp was the growing number of mass arrests of Poles and overcrowding of the existing prisons. Initially it was supposed to be another of the concentration camps set up by the Nazis from the early thirties. Auschwitz  performs this function during the period of its existence, even if - since 1942 - it also became one of the centers “Endlösung der Judenfrage" (Final Solution of the Jewish question) - the Nazi plan to murder Jews in the occupied territories by the Third Reich.

It is the only concentration camp listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, under the official name of Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945).

The main camps of the syndicate:

  • Auschwitz (Auschwitz I), the first camp, mainly labor, that is also the management centre  for the whole complex; 
  • Auschwitz II - (Birkenau) concentration camp at first, then the death camp with gas chambers and crematoria;
  • Auschwitz III - Monowitz (Monowice), a work camp to provide slave labor for the Buna-Werke factory of the IG Farben concern.
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