The largest and harshest nazi death camp, located in the southwest of Poland. Originally used as a concentration camp in 1940 (after the defeat of Poland), it became a death camp in 1942.
The camp included: Auschwitz I (Stammlager); Auschwitz II (Birkenau), the most populated extermination camp; and Auschwitz III, the I.G. Farben labour camp (also known as Monowitz or Buna). As victims arrived by train from all over Europe, they were separated into two lines: men to be used as forced labour; women and children, who were to be killed in the gas chambers that day, or in a mass grave.
As many as 6 000 ruthless SS officers worked at Auschwitz. It is estimated that one and a half million men, women and children were murdered there, making it the largest graveyard in human history.
Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet soldiers on January, 27th, 1945.