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Entrance, or so-called "death gate," to Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the extermination camp.

Auschwitz II (Birkenau) is a camp that many people know simply as "Auschwitz" (it was larger than Auschwitz I, and more people passed through its gates than did those of Auschwitz I). It was a purpose-built camp for extermination purposes. It was the site of imprisonment of hundreds of thousands, and of the killing of over one million people, mainly Jews but also large numbers of Poles, and Gypsies, mostly through gassing. The Nazis established Auschwitz in April 1940 under the direction of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. The camp originally housed political prisoners from occupied Poland and from concentration camps within Germany.

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