Auschwitz – Birkenau
Situated in southern Poland, about 50 kilometers west from Kraków, Auschwitz – Birkenau is the largest Nazi concentration camp in former German- occupied Europe.
The Auschwitz concentration camp was established on the outskirts of Oświęcim in 1940. The main extermination center, Birkenau – Auschwitz II was built in1942. About 1,100,000 people of 28 nationalities were transported here from all over the occupied Europe.
The majority of the victims were Jews, but Poles and Gypsies from different countries were also brought here. Most of them died in gas chambers just after arrival. The Camp was a place of massive tortures, executions (usually using the cyclone-B gas) and pseudo-medical experiments. Some barracks and ruins of the crematoria and gas chambers can be seen there today.
On the site of the concentration camp the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was founded in 1946. Auschwitz-Birkenau is part of UNESCO World Heritage, now.