MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

1941

  • 1 March – Commander of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, pays his first inspection visit to Auschwitz. His gives out orders to expand the camp and to supply IG Farbenindustrie with 10,000 prisoners to build industrial plants.
  • 23 April – In reprisal for an escaped prisoner the camp Commandant, Rudolf Höss, for the first time sentences 10 prisoners to death by starvation.
  • 6 June – First transport of Czech political prisoners. The start of deportation to Auschwitz of non-Polish prisoners.
  • 3 September – First mass murder of people with the use of Cyclone B. About 600 Soviet and 250 Polish prisoners die. 
  • Autumn – Camp authorities start operating the first gas chamber in Auschwitz I.
  • October – Establishment of a Soviet POWs camp in Auschwitz I.
  • Work starts on building the second part of the camp, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, in place of the demolished village of Brzezinka. 
  • 11 November – In the first execution at the Wall of Death the Nazis shoot 151 Polish prisoners.