Auschwitz II - Birkenau - Entrance gate and ma...

Auschwitz II – Birkenau – Entrance gate and main track. Photo shot in summer 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the medieval duchies in Upper Silesia.   The town is south of Katowice and west of Cracow, in southern Poland.

The district around it, southeasternmost medieval Silesia, formed the east of the Duchy of Teschen until 1315.   It then became a separate Duchy held by the junior Teschen line until 1454, when its last Duke sold it to Poland and it left the Empire.   Austrian in 1772, Polish again in 1918, Auschwitz was annexed by Germany in 1939.

Its name was made memorable for as long as it is necessary for man to recall his own inhumanity to man, because here was one of those extermination camps by which those who were deemed to be racially impure were sent to their deaths by those who deemed themselves to be racially fit.

The region became Polish again in 1945.

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