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Images of Auschwitz and Birkenau
Photos from our tour of the Auschwitz Birkenau Camps. The name of the town Oswiecim was changed to Auschwitz when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939. The first prisoners were 728 Poles. Auschwiz was important because of its central location and railway junction. The average number of prisoners fluctuated between 13,000 - 16,000 people reaching 20,000 at one stage. Auschwitz was the biggest Nazi concentration camp for Poles and prisoners from other countries and became the biggest center for the mass extermination of European Jews. Approximately 1.5 million people were killed at Auschwitz (approximately 6 million total during the Holocaust.) Birkenau can be considered the largest cemetery in the world (2011, Auschwitz Berkinau State Museum).