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see OświęcimOświęcim
, Ger. Auschwitz, town (1992 est. pop. 45,100), Małopolskie prov., SE Poland. It is a railway junction and industrial center producing chemicals, leather, and agricultural implements. There are coal deposits in the vicinity.
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, Poland.



a concentration camp built by the fascist German regime on occupied Polish territory near the town whose German name is Auschwitz (Polish name, Oświe̢cim), near Kraków. Construction of the camp, which covered an area of approximately 500 hectares, began in 1940. It was a vast complex for the extermination of human beings, utilizing the most up-to-date technology. During the camp’s existence, more than 4 million people were exterminated—citizens of the USSR, Poland, France, Belgium, Hungary, the Netherlands, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and other countries.

In spite of the savage terror in the camp, a network of underground cells and combat groups was organized by Communists. In the fall of 1944, the central leadership of the organized resistance in the camp made preparations for an armed uprising. Several groups of prisoners went into action spontaneously before the appointed time, however, and the uprising was suppressed. More than 200 people died bearing arms. The Hitlerites dealt savagely with the remaining prisoners. On Jan. 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the few remaining survivors of Auschwitz.

A museum has been established at the site of the camp. In September 1958 the International Auschwitz Committee was organized.


Niurnbergskii protsess, vol. 4. Moscow, 1959. Pages 295–557.
Kraus, O., and E. Kulka. Fabrika smerti. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Czech.)



largest Nazi extermination camp; more than 1,000,000 deaths there. [Ger. Hist.: Hitler, 958–959, 970, 1123]


an industrial town in S Poland; site of a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Pop.: 45 400 (latest est.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Which brings to mind another sliver of hope amid the Auschwitz-Birkenau hopelessness: visitors to the sites - thousands - were clearly from all over the world.
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The "70 candles for 70 years" project was set up to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 1945.
Each count represents a trainload of Nazi prisoners from Hungary, Germany and Czechoslovakia who were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau between May 1944 and October 1944, the documents said.
Administrators of the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum have been left up in arms, the Telegraph (UK) reported Monday, from a wave of theft and vandalism at the site of the Holocaust's most infamous death camp.
They had stopped at a hotel in Krakow before making their visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum.
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PNN On Friday, 27th July, Ziad al Bandak, advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas on Christian affairs, visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, former largest concentration and extermination camp of Nazi Germany.
Targeted at 16-18 year olds, the project is centred on a one-day visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, where young people learn first hand about the Holocaust.
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