Auschwitz-Birkenau

The largest Nazi death camp.

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Who Was Involved?

Nazis, criminals, political prisoners, Jews, gypsies, Soviet soldiers, polish, and Christians.

Why did it happen?

It was first built to house Polish political prisoners who were deemed to be a danger to the occupying Nazis in Poland, but turned into a Jewish death camp.

What happened?

Jews were killed by working to the death. Victims who were not able to work were killed immediately.

When did it happen?

Auschwitz-Birkenau was established by Germans in 1940.

Where did it happen?

The camps were located approximately 37 miles west of Krakow. They were near the prewar German-Polish border in Upper Silesia.