Oświęcim ôshvyĕN´chēm [key], Ger. Auschwitz, town (1992 est. pop. 45,100), Małopolskie prov., SE Poland. It is a railway junction and industrial center producing chemicals, leather, and agricultural implements. There are coal deposits in the vicinity. In World War II the Germans organized a concentration camp system there, consisting of 3 main and 30 forced-labor camps. At the Brzezinka (Ger. Birkenau ) extermination camp as many as 4,000,000 prisoners, mostly Jews, were killed.
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