The Auschwitz concentration camp complex was the largest of its kind established by the Nazi regime. It included three main camps, all of which deployed incarcerated prisoners at forced labor. One of them also functioned for an extended period as a killing center. The camps were located approximately 37 miles west of Krakow, near the prewar German-Polish border in Upper Silesia, an area that Nazi Germany annexed in 1939 after invading and conquering Poland.
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The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
World War I marked the first great international conflict of the twentieth century. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, and his wife, the Archduchess Sophie, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, sparked the hostilities, which began in August 1914, and continued on several fronts for the next four years.
In Europe, antisemitism, nationalism, ethnic hatred, anti-communism, and opportunism induced citizens of nations Germany occupied to collaborate with the Nazi regime in the annihilation of the European Jews and with other Nazi racial policies.
Of the millions of children who suffered persecution at the hands of the Nazis and their Axis partners, only a small number wrote diaries and journals that have survived. In these accounts, the young writers documented their experiences, confided their feelings, and reflected on the trauma they endured during these nightmare years.