The largest Auschwitz sub-camp, called Buna, was located here from 1942 to 1945. The Nazis sent thousands of prisoners from various countries, the majority of them Jewish, to Buna (there were approximately 10,000 prisoners in this camp in 1944). A significant proportion of them died because of arduous slave labor, starvation, savage mistreatment, and executions. Those who were unable to go on working fell victim to selection and were taken to their deaths in the Birkenau concentration camp gas chambers.
In November 1943, the Buna sub-camp was transformed into a separate administrative unit designated Auschwitz III. It included other Auschwitz concentration camp sub-camps at industrial plants.
On January 18, 1945, the camp administration evacuated those prisoners who were able to march. They marched into the depths of Germany. The ill and weaker prisoners were left in the camp. Red Army soldiers liberated them on January 27, 1945.
Sources: The State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Reprinted with permission.