Auschwitz was the largest German Concentration and Extermination Camp.  Originally set up as a Concentration Camp for Polish prisoners, it later comprised three camp areas:


  • The "Stammlager" or base camp (Auschwitz I),
  • The Birkenau camp (Auschwitz II)  
  • The Monowitz camp (Auschwitz III).


In Auschwitz, mass extermination began by the end of 1941. As of June 1942, Jews from all over Europe were "selected" on the ramp at Birkenau, i.e. they were either immediately sent to their death in the gas chambers or they were chosen for forced labour. Few of the prisoners survived. In total, about a million human beings died at Auschwitz.