Auschwitz-Birkenau, the story of a murderous complex


It is the largest complex in the National Socialist concentration camp system. In total, more than 1.1 million people were murdered there between 1940 and 1945.

End of April 1940: construction of the first camp

October 1941: start, on instructions from Himmler, of work on a second sector in the locality of Birkenau or Auschwitz II

From 1942: Birkenau grows and becomes the largest of the concentration camps and the largest murder center. Development of the Buna labor camp, later named Monowitz/Auschwitz III


March and June 1943: commissioning of crematoria II to V, with their large capacity gas chambers

Fall 1944: preparation for site evacuation. End of the systematic mass murder in the gas chambers at the end of November

January 27, 1945: discovery of Auschwitz by the Red Army. Death marches to other concentration camps until May 1945.

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