June 14, 1940: Auschwitz Opens
On this day in 1940, the Nazis opened the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
Nazi records show that tens of thousands of Jews from German-occupied territories were sent to Auschwitz to be executed each month.
Two Auschwitz prisoners, Rudolph Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, were determined to expose the horrors of the Nazi genocide and stop the killing factories forever. To do that, they became the first to escape from the heavily-guarded camp. Read about their escape path and watch Secrets of the Dead’s “Escape from Auschwitz.”
Above Image: This map, drawn from Rudolf Vrba’s own account of his escape, traces the two friends’ journey, from Auschwitz to the safety of Slovakia, where they finally revealed the secret purpose of Auschwitz.