Posts Tagged ‘Birkenau’ News

|   9 June 2011

Auschwitz – a complicated history

There was more than one Auschwitz camp.

This month’s competition question for subscribers is proving very interesting. Not because lots of people have got the answer correct so far but because of the reverse – no one who has entered the competition has got the correct answer yet.

This is the question:

The camp at Auschwitz/Birkenau was not originally intended to hold large numbers of Jews. Who did the Nazis first think would be sent there once it was completed?

And I’m not giving too much away when I say that the answer is not ‘Polish political prisoners’ which many people seem to think it is. Polish political prisoners were indeed the first people incarcerated at Auschwitz – but at Auschwitz main camp in 1940 not at Auschwitz/Birkenau, which was not in existence in 1940. The main camp was on the banks of the Sola river near the town of Auschwitz (as the Germans called the Polish town of Oswiecim) but the Nazis only decided to build this new camp, about a mile and a half away from the old one, the following year in 1941. (more…)