In April 1940, on the orders of the commander-in-chief of the SS, Heinrich Himler, the construction of the concentration camp in Oświęcim – Zasole was started, using the military barracks that were already there. The organization of the camp and the commandant was entrusted to a trusted Hitler supporter, Rudolf Höss. The first transport of prisoners was sent here on 14 June 1940 – 728 Polish political prisoners from Tarnów. Until June 1941, it was a camp intended exclusively for Poles, over 17 thousand of whom were registered in that period.
Then, in accordance with earlier plans, it was transformed into an international camp. In March 1941, after his visit to Auschwitz, Heinrich Himler ordered to set up a second camp in nearby Brzezinka, mainly intended for the extermination of Jews. Its construction started already in October after the deportation of the residents of Brzezinka, and neighboring Pławy, Rajsko, Babice and Broszkowice. The “primary” Auschwitz I camp was the original camp, which initially included 39 collateral labor camps (including in Silesia) in addition to Brzezinka (Birkenau). In November 1943, this entire “death factory” team was divided into three separate concentration camps.
The camp in Oświęcim-Brzezinka was the largest of all Nazi extermination camps. Currently, you can visit it by choosing Auschwitz tour. Such Auschwitz tours can be booked in many cities and online on site like: http://www.seekrakow.com/en/auschwitz-birkenau/.