MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Poland

The Exhibition The Struggle and Martyrdom of the Polish Nation 1939-1945

Opened in 1985, the exhibition begins with the start of the Second World War. Events associated with the September campaign, the cruelty of the invaders, and the division of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union as a result of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact are shown in a highly concise way. Next comes the division of Polish land by the German occupation regime into the General Government and the areas incorporated into the Third Reich, and the imposition of the occupation legal regime.

The creation of the Polish underground state and the struggle against the occupier are also shown. The following sequences present the German occupation policy towards the conquered Polish people: terror, repression, the liquidation of the intelligentsia, expulsions, pacification, deportation to camps, the exploitation and destruction of the economy and culture, and germanization. The repression and persecution of Poles in the land occupied by the USSR is also shown.

The role of the Polish armed forces in the Allied war effort and the international resistance movement, and combat by Poles on all fronts in the Second World War is the next subject. The final theme is “Poles in Auschwitz.” The exhibition also includes lists of names, as established on the basis of archival records.