Auschwitz-Birkenau (Oświęcim-Brzezinka in Polish)
All over the world, Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust. It was established by the Nazis in the suburbs of the city of Oswiecim which, like other parts of Poland, was occupied by the Germans during the Second World War. The name of the city of Oswiecim was changed to Auschwitz, which became the name of the camp as well. June 14, 1940, when the first transport of Polish political prisoner deportees arrived in Auschwitz, is regarded as the date when it began to function. Since 1940 it was the location of a concentration and later of the extermination camp. By January 1945 around 2 million people had been killed here, mostly Jews but also Gypsies, as well as political and war prisoners. The camp was designed to be an organized death factory. Everything was thoroughly put into accounts. On leaving the camp, the SS blew up part of the facilities. The barracks once crammed with prisoners, the torture and execution sites and the rail-tracks leading straight to the camp remained on place to stand witness to this appalling cruelty. Tourists can watch the movie made by the Soviet troops during the camp’s liberation. This memorial site can be visited every day. It was added to UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.