|A reconnaissance picture of the Auschwitz-Birkenau-Comlex (concentration camp) from June 26th 1944.|
Auschwitz is the name loosely used to identify three main Nazi German concentration camps and 45-50 sub-camps. The name is derived from the Germanized form of the nearby Polish town of Oświęcim.
The three main camps were:
- Auschwitz I, the original concentration camp which served as the administrative centre for the whole complex, and was the site of the deaths of roughly 70,000 Polish intellectuals, gay men and Soviet Prisoners of War.
- Auschwitz II (Birkenau), an extermination camp and the site of the deaths of roughly 1 million Jews, 75,000 Poles, gay men and some 19,000 Roma.
- Auschwitz III (Monowitz), which served as a labor camp for the IG Farben company.
The total number of casualties is still under debate, but most modern estimates are around 1-1.5 million.
About 700 prisoners attempted to escape from the Auschwitz camps during the years of their operation, with about 300 attempts successful. A common punishment for escape attempts was death by starvation; the families of successful escapees were sometimes arrested and interned in Auschwitz and prominently displayed to deter others.