Auschwitz.camp is an exhibition presented in Kazerne Dossin (Mechelen, Belgium) from 24 October 2019 to 6 September 2020.
The story of Auschwitz
Auschwitz is an international byword for horror. It has become the icon of the Holocaust. The Auschwitz name is synonymous with racial persecution and represents the murder of more than 1.1 million human beings.
This creates the impression that Auschwitz was established for that purpose. Its origins are, however, more varied and complex. In addition to its function as a murder centre, Auschwitz was an industrial site with numerous factories and packed slave-labour camps, set in a zone rich in resources. It was intended to develop into a German metropolis in the East.
“If we don’t fill our camps with slaves…, then we will not have enough money to create settlements that give German people the opportunity to live a life in dignity.”
Heinrich Himmler – Reichsführer SS
Policies of imperialism, colonialism, racism, economics and extermination converged at Auschwitz, transforming the original rural town and the region around it. Between 1940 and 1945, the Nazis redrew the landscape physically and socially to create the so-called ‘Auschwitz Interest Zone’ (Interessengebiet Auschwitz).