MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

News

73rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising

BB
02-08-2017

On the 73rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, the director of the Museum Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński paid tribute to its heroes and victims – including the nearly 13,000 residents of the capital deported by the Germans to the Auschwitz camp. At exactly 17:00 – i.e. the „W” hour commencing the insurrectionary fights, he laid a wreath at the Death Wall in the courtyard of Block 11 at the premises of the former Auschwitz 1 camp.

 

73rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. Photo Marek Lach.
73rd anniversary of...
73rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. Photo Marek Lach.
73rd anniversary of...
73rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. Photo Marek Lach.
73rd anniversary of...
73rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising.
73rd anniversary of...
Exhibition prepared by the Museum in the Google Cultural Institute.
Exhibition prepared...

'The history of the Uprising is inextricably intertwined with the history of the German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. When remembering the Uprising as the greatest armed uprising of World War II, we also remember the ordeal of hundreds of thousands of civilians and Varsovian families. For approximately 13,000 inhabitants of Warsaw, the Uprising ended in Auschwitz,' said director Cywiński, who himself hails from Warsaw.

During the Warsaw Uprising and after its suppression, the Germans deported about 550,000 inhabitants of Warsaw and about 100,000 people from the surrounding areas of the city. They were sent to a specially commissioned transition camp in Pruszków near Warsaw, Durchgangslager 121. 55,000 people were deported to concentration camps.

In Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the Germans imprisoned approx. 13,000 residents, ranging from newborns to the elderly. That is over half the total number of deportees from all over the district of Warsaw from August 1940 to September 1944. At least 400 people from the Pruszków transports lived to see the liberation of Auschwitz, including about 125 children and adolescents.

The fate of persons deported to Auschwitz after the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising is presented in a special exhibition prepared by the Museum in the Google Cultural Institute and a 10 volume  educational series - Voices of memory.

Transports of Poles from Warsaw to KL Auschwitz after the outbreak of the Uprising.

Between August and September 1944, upon the outbreak of the armed Uprising in Warsaw nearly 13,000 arrested residents of Warsaw were deported through the transition camp in Pruszków to KL Auschwitz: men, women and children. They were imprisoned on the premises of Auschwitz II-Birkenau.

The deportees included people from various social backgrounds and professions (public servants, scientists, artists, physicians, traders, workers) of various physical condition (wounded, sick, disabled, pregnant women) in various ages - children from few weeks old infants to the elderly, over eighty-six years old. In some cases, they were people of other nationalities, along with the Jews hiding among them with the so-called Aryan documents.

The largest transports were those that arrived to Auschwitz on 12 and 13 August, which brought a total of nearly 6 thousand people (including 4,000 women and 2,000 men, and among them over 1,000 children and young people of both sexes.

On 4 September, another transport brought 3,087 persons (women, men and children) from Pruszków to Auschwitz. The next two transports of 13 and 17 September, but for three women, comprised of 4,000 thousand men and boys. Most of the people from these transports were transferred after a few weeks, as part of the initial evacuation of KL Auschwitz to camps in the depths of the Third Reich and employed in the armaments industry. Many of them died in these camps.

In January 1945, five transports were sent to Berlin carrying at least 602 women and children (including children born in the camp). Some of the prisoners from the mentioned Warsaw transports were evacuated in January 1945 from the camp. Some of them died in the "death marches" while others lived to see the liberation of the camps in the depths of the Reich.

At least 400 Varsovians (men, women and about 125 children) lived to see the liberation of KL Auschwitz.

The memorial book

The memory of Poles deported to KL Auschwitz from the so-called District of Warsaw is commemorated by a publication of the Museum in 2000 titled, The Memorial Book. The transports of Poles to KL Auschwitz 1940 – 1944. It also contains names of Warsaw residents well-known to historians, who were sent to the camp in connection with the Uprising.

Memories of a child of the Uprising  

In April 2007, the Museum’s publishing house released a new and expanded edition of the repeatedly reprinted collection of stories about children in Auschwitz titled, Childhood in stripes. It is one of the most touching documents on the tragic fates of Auschwitz prisoners and shocking images of the camp from a child’s perspective. It’s author, Bogdan Bartnikowski, at the age of 12, participated in the Uprising in the Ochota district of Warsaw as a liaison. On 12 August 1944, he was deported along with his mother to Auschwitz.