MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

News

14 June 2019 - National Remembrance Day for Victims of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps - invitation

PS
03-06-2019

On 14 June 2019, we will commemorate the 79th anniversary of the first transport of Poles to the German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz created in Nazi-occupied Poland incorporated into the Third Reich. Subject to the decision of the Polish Parliament, the anniversary date is a National Remembrance Day of Victims of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps. The events commemorating the anniversary will take place on 13 and 14 June in Tarnów, Harmęże and Oświęcim.

The President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda has assumed National Patronage over the event on the centenary of the Regaining of Independence by Poland, while the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Prof. Piotr Gliński, has assumed Honorary Patronage over the event.

 

14 June 2019 - National Remembrance Day for Victims of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps
14 June 2019 -...
14 June 2019 - National Remembrance Day for Victims of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps
14 June 2019 -...
14 June 2019 - National Remembrance Day for Victims of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps
14 June 2019 -...

 

Programme of the commemoration event of 14 June in Oświęcim and Harmęże:

11.00 - Holy Mass at the Franciscan Monastery in Harmęże

12:00 - Tour of the exhibition “Negatives of memory. Labyrinths” by former Auschwitz prisoner Marian Kołodziej No. 432

13.00 - Placing flowers at the plaque commemorating the arrival of the first transport and the monument of Calvary Capt. Witold Pilecki (Witold Pilecki State School of Higher Education)

14.00 - Lighting of candles at the Death Wall in honour of the Victims (site of the former Auschwitz I camp)

The celebrations in Tarnów will take place at 10.00 on 13 June 2019 at the Monument to the First Transport of Polish Political Prisoners to the German Concentration Camp Auschwitz.

 

The organiser of the anniversary commemoration is the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the:

  • • St. Maximilian Centre in Harmęże
  • • County Office in Oświęcim
  • • City of Tarnów
  • • City of Oświęcim
  • • Municipality of Oświęcim
  • • Jewish Centre in Oswięcim
  • • Auschwitz-Birkenau Victims Remembrance Foundation
  • • Foundation of Memorial Sites Near Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • • City of Oświęcim Memorial - Hospice Foundation
  • • Fundacja Wiara i Prawda (Faith and Truth Foundation)
  • • Krakow Foundation Centre for Information, Meetings, Dialogue, Education and Prayer in Oświęcim
  • • Diocesan Curia of Bielsko-Żywiec
  • • International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim
  • • Oświęcim Land Residents' Memorial Museum (under formation)
  • • Castle Museum in Oświęcim
  • • Department of the Institute of National Remembrance in Cracow
  • • Witold Pilecki State School of Higher Education in Oświęcim
  • • Province of St. Anthony and blessed Jakub Strzemię of The Order of Friars Minor Conventual (Franciscans)
  • • Auschwitz Memento Association
  • • Association of Roma in Poland
  • • Society for the Preservation and Maintenance of Oświecim

 

Contact: 14czerwca@auschwitz.org

On 14 June 1940, the Germans dispatched a group of 728 Poles from the prison in Tarnów to the concentration camp in Auschwitz. The deportees included soldiers of the September campaign, members of the independence underground organisations, middle school pupils and students, as well as a small group of Polish Jews. They received numbers from 31 to 758 and were placed for the quarantine period in the buildings of the former Polish Tobacco Monopoly, near the site of today's Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (which currently houses the Witold Pilecki State School of Higher Education in Oświęcim).

The first camp numbers were given to German criminal prisoners previously deported by the SS men to Auschwitz from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, who had taken up positions as prisoner functionaries.

Out of the 728 prisoners deported on 14 June 1940 from Tarnów to Auschwitz, 298 survived, 272 died, while the fate of 158 is unknown to date.

The history of deportation of the first transport of Poles to the German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz is described in an online exhibition at the Google Cultural Institute prepared by the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, while the fate of the first Poles in Auschwitz is presented in a special online lesson "First transports of Poles to Auschwitz".

 

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum has published a book written by the director of the Auschwitz Museum, Piotr M. A. Cywiński, PhD, titled “The beginnings of Auschwitz in memory of the first transport of Polish political prisoners”. In the publication, excerpts from the accounts of former prisoners of the first transport are summarised in seven chapters, creating a smoothly narrated story of 728 men who were sent from the prison in Tarnów to the Auschwitz camp, among others for underground activities and attempts to join the Polish Army in France.

The story begins from the very moment of arrest and transportation to the prison in Tarnów and ends with the longest roll-call after the first escape of the Auschwitz prisoner, Tadeusz Wiejowski, which took place on July 6, 1940. At that time, shortly after assigning camp numbers, conducting murderous quarantine procedures, dressing up the prisoners in striped uniforms and imposing the obligation of slave labour; the ritual known as “lagrowanie", i.e. the assimilation of a prisoner in to the camp’s terror system, came to an end.