Built by the Nazi Third Reich in Poland, the Auschwitz concentration camp consisted of Auschwitz I (the original camp), Auschwitz II–Birkenau (a combination concentration/extermination camp), Auschwitz III–Monowitz (a labor camp that staffed an IG Farben factory), and an additional 45 satellite camps. 

Auschwitz I was originally built to hold Polish political prisoners, who started to arrive in June 1940, and the first extermination of prisoners began in September 1941. From early 1942 until late 1944, trains were used to deliver prisoners from all over Nazi-occupied Europe to the camp's gas chambers, where the pesticide Zyklon B was used to kill the prisoners. 

At least 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz, of which approximately 90 percent were Jewish, but which also included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Romani and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and tens of thousands of others of various nationalities. In addition to those killed in the gas chambers, many also died due to starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.

Photography: © Omar Havana 2005. All Rights are Reserved