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Remembering the murdered in Auschwitz

By Marcos Resnizky
(English translation of the article published by Newspaper Rio Negro -January 2005-).

Between 1940 and 1945 millions of people died in the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The victims were not only Jewish: thousands of Catholic Poles and other minorities from those countries occupied by the Germans also died in that camp.

In the beginning, the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau was created by the Nazis in order to imprison political and intellectual non-Jewish Poles, who were majority there until March 1942.

It was in April 1940 when Heinrich Himmler ordered to build a big concentration camp near the Polish city of Oswiecim (Auschwitz in German), an area that had been annexed by the Reich in 1939. The Nazi hatred towards the Polish people was extreme, since for Germans different types of inferior races existed; and just as the Jewish were considered non-human by the Nazis and were meant to be completely annihilated, the Polish, too, were considered an inferior race, which should be obligated to carry out forced labor for the benefit of those they called “the superior race”. Hundreds of thousands of Poles were imprisoned in concentration camps and obligated to carry out forced labor and thousands of Polish children were separated from their parents and deported to Germany. In 1940 the Nazi authorities created a plan to eliminate politically and intellectually committed Poles in order to prevent the Polish citizens from resisting and to weaken the people.

In spite of the pressures practiced against the Polish people, no Polish public figure or authority ever consented to be part of a collaborationist government. On the contrary, a Polish government leaded by Wladislaw Sikorski was established to act from the exile, in London, where the Allies joined the fight against the Nazi government. There are tens of examples of how the Polish fought together with the allied forces. It is worth to remember the heroism of the Kosiucko Squadron, the courage of the Polish pilots from the Royal Air Force, the battle of Montecasino, and of course, the whole Polish people’s attitude during the Warsaw uprising in August 1944.

We must not forget that six million Poles were murdered by the Nazis during World War II, of whom three million were Catholic.

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