National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Nazi German Concentration and Death Camps Date in the current year: June 14, 2018

National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Nazi German Concentration and Death Camps National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Nazi German Concentration and Death Camps (Narodowy Dzień Pamięci Ofiar Niemieckich Nazistowskich Obozów Koncentracyjnych i Obozów Zagłady) is a solemn remembrance day in Poland observed on June 14. It is normally a working day unless it falls on a weekend or coincides with Corpus Christi, which is a public holiday.

National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Nazi German Concentration and Death Camps in Poland was officially established in 2006 by the Sejm. The date of June 14 was chosen because on this day in 1940 the first mass transport of political prisoners arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp located near the Polish city of Oświęcim. Originally the name of the observance mentioned only concentration camps, but in 2015, it was decided to add death camps in order to emphasize the difference between two types of camps.

Concentration camps in Nazi Germany were originally created to hold and torture political opponents (social democrats and communists) and union organizers. Subsequently, Heinrich Himmler expanded their role to hold criminals, disabled people, homosexuals, Catholic clergy, Jehovah’s Witnesses, ethnic Serbs and Poles, Romani people, Jews, and other “racially undesirable people”, as well as Soviet POWs. Although a lot of concentration camp prisoners died, the main goal of such camps was to isolate people considered dangerous to the regime, not to kill them.

Death camps, also known as extermination camps, were specifically constructed to purposefully and systematically kill Jews, Romanis, Slavs, communists, and others whom the Nazis considered “inferior people” (Untermenschen). Some of the largest among the Nazi concentration and extermination camps were located in Poland, including Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Bełżec, Chełmno, Sobibór, Majdanek, Kraków-Płaszów, and others.

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Category

Anniversaries and Memorial Days

Country

Poland

Tags

holidays in Poland, observances in Poland, memorial days in Poland, concentration camps, death camps, remembrance day