This Week in WWII: 1st Week of May

May 1, 1940

Auschwitz concentration camp is opened.

Auschwitz, one of the most infamous concentration camps established during the Holocaust by Nazi Germany, is opened in the first week in May of 1940 in Poland. This camp would imprison Viktor Frankl, Primo Levi, and Elie Wiesel; all of who would live through war to later write acclaimed novels documenting their experiences. These books are now considered staple literature concerning World War II and the Holocaust.

More Information about this event:

Auschwitz concentration camp was a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. It was the largest of the German concentration camps, consisting of Auschwitz I (the Stammlager or base camp); Auschwitz II–Birkenau (the Vernichtungslager or extermination camp); Auschwitz III–Monowitz, also known as Buna–Monowitz (a labor camp); and 45 satellite camps.

Notable Inmates: Viktor Frankl, Primo Levi, Witold Pilecki, Rudolf Vrba, Elie Wiesel, Maximillian Kolbe

Museum Website:


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