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  • Beginning of the year – Start of mass extermination of Jews in the gas chambers.
  • March – Start of deportation to Auschwitz of 69,000 Jews from France and 27,000 Jews from Slovakia.
  • 1 March – Auschwitz II-Birkenau starts functioning.
  • 26 March – First 2,000 women arrive in Auschwitz (out of about 130,000 registered in the camp to the end of its existence). March-June – Start-up of temporary gas chambers alongside Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
  • Spring – So-called Judenrampe, located between Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau starts functioning. It was here that transports to Auschwitz arrived with Jews, as well as Poles, Roma and Sinti (in the camp marked as Gypsies) and prisoners of other nationalities.
  • May – Start of deportation to Auschwitz of 300,000 Jews from Poland and 23,000 Jews from Germany and Austria.
  • 4 May – SS carry out the first selection at the camp in Birkenau. Selected prisoners are murdered in the gas chamber.
  • 10 June – Mutiny and an attempt at mass escape of about 350 Polish prisoners from the penal company in Birkenau. 7 managed to escape, 300 died.
  • July – Start of deportation to Auschwitz of 60,000 Jews from Holland.
  • July – Start-up of Golleschau sub-camp near the cement works of Goleszów near Cieszyn – the first of almost 50 Auschwitz sub-camps.
  • 29 July – Edward Schulte, German industrialist and anti-Nazi, informs the Allies that Himmler was present in Auschwitz in July at the murder of 499 Jews with Cyclone B in so-called Bunker no. 2. This was the first item of information from a German source which was so specific about the extermination of Jews in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. From the autumn of 1940 the Allies were regularly informed about what was happening in Auschwitz. They were mainly informed by the Polish Government in exile in London, which was in constant contact with the Polish resistance, active both inside the camp and in its vicinity. 
  • August – Start of deportation to Auschwitz of 25,000 Jews from Belgium and 10,000 Jews from Yugoslavia.
  • 30 October – Synthetic rubber factory built by IG Farbenindustrie gave rise to Buna sub-camp, later renamed as Auschwitz III-Monowitz. In 1942-1944 a total of 47 KL Auschwitz sub-camps and external work squads came into being. The prisoners who occupied these mainly worked at German industrial enterprises.
  • October – Start of deportation to Auschwitz of 46,000 Jews from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
  • December – First transport of Jews from Norway. In total, almost 700 people arrive in two transports.
  • 13 December – First transport of Poles displaced from the Zamość region as part of Hitler’s “Generalplan Ost” (General Plan East) – the eviction and extermination of about 50 million Slavs (Poles, Russians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians and others) and the colonization by German settlers of Central and Eastern Europe, with Poland being the first territories to be occupied. 
  • End of the year – SS doctors start sterilization experiments on male and female prisoners.