14 June – National Remembrance Day for Victims of the German Nazi Camps



National Remembrance Day for Victims of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps

This is the full official name of the remembrance day established by the Sejm of the Republic of Poland in 2006. The date of 14 June is not accidental. It was on this day in 1940 that the first transport of Polish prisoners to the German Nazi KL Auschwitz camp took place.

It should be remembered that KL Auschwitz, the camp that became the symbol of the German Nazi genocide, was originally established as a concentration camp for Poles. It was only when the Nazis were developing the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” that the camp was adapted to carry out mass extermination of Jews from Poland and other European countries occupied by the German Reich. The Germans decided to establish the camp in a small town of Oświęcim, on the grounds and in the buildings of pre-war Polish Army barracks. The first arrivals in the newly opened camp were German criminal prisoners who were to serve as kapos. The first transport of Poles was sent from the prison in Tarnów and consisted of 728 prisoners, mainly political.

Of the 728 prisoners from the first transport, approximately 200 survived the war. 

M.B