MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Auschwitz as a Place for the Deportation and Annihilation

After the liquidation of the Polish state and its institutions, the fundamental goal of German policy in occupied Poland was the exploitation of material and labor resources, and the removal of the local Polish population and ethnic minorities. This was done through expulsion and systematic extermination. The Polish lands were to be completely germanized, through German settlement in the depopulated area. Hitler repeatedly told German dignitaries and leaders as much. On March 15, 1940, at a meeting of the commandants of various camps in occupied Poland, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and German police, said:

“All skilled workers of Polish background are to be used in our war industry. Afterwards, Poles will disappear from the world. . . . Every German’s time is coming. That is why it is necessary for the great German people to see their main task in the destruction of all Poles.”

From the beginning of the occupation, various places of imprisonment, police jails, judicial prisons, transit camps, labor camps, reeducation camps, penal camps and, above all, concentration camps played an important role in the process of the systematic extermination of the Poles, the weakening of their intellectual potential, and the imposition of unquestioning obedience.