KL Auschwitz played a significant role in Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution” to its self-imposed and imagined “Jewish Problem.”: The Final Solution sought nothing less than the wholesale murder of the Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Europe as well as in areas assumed to be conquered later.
According to the United States Holocaust Museum, up to six million Jews were killed before the end of the Second World War. The Nazis murdered 1,100,000 of these Jews in the gas chambers of Auschwitz II- Birkenau. The Holocaust not only resulted in the murderous end of these lives—it resulted in the loss of countless future generations of Jews.
While the Jews were first priority of the Nazis, the Holocaust was also part of a larger Nazi genocidal project targeting other groups as well. 74,000 Polish non-Jews were murdered at Auschwitz (3 million killed in total). 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war were also murdered along with at least 12,000 victims of other nationalities. These numbers also include homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and political prisoners. In fact, of the approximately 1.3 million individuals deported to the camp, an astonishing 1.1 million did not survive.
Through Faces of Auschwitz, we mourn and honor the suffering and murder of all Nazi victims at the camp.
The project has no political message beyond the awareness of the horrors of genocide.
Moreover, we privilege no one victim group over another but rather seem to tell the stories of many different victims and survivors of the camp, regardless of background, ethnicity, or beliefs. Any other approach would do a disservice to the victims, survivors, and all seeking to hear their stories and take warning from them.