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84th anniversary of the deportation of the first Poles to KL Auschwitz - National Day of Remembrance


14 June 1940 is considered the beginning of the functioning of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz. On that day, the Germans deported a group of 728 Poles from the Tarnów prison to Auschwitz. The group included soldiers who had fought against the German invasion in September 1939, members of underground independence organisations, secondary school, and university students, and a small number of Polish Jews. They were given numbers from 31 to 758.

The commemoration of the 84th anniversary of this event took place under the Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda. By a decision of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, 14 June is observed as the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camps.


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84th anniversary of...
84th anniversary of...
84th anniversary of...
84th anniversary of...
84th anniversary of...
84th anniversary of...
84th anniversary of...
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At the events commemorating the anniversary at the Auschwitz Memorial, 13 Auschwitz Survivors participated. They were accompanied by representatives of the President of the Republic of Poland, state and local government authorities, the diplomatic corps, churches and religious communities, the Roma community, state institutions, associations, and foundations, delegations of event organizers, many social institutions and organizations, and all those wishing to honor the memory of the victims of the German Nazis.

The director of the Auschwitz Museum, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, read a letter sent to the participants of the event by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Hanna Wróblewska.

"It is an honor, a duty, and a goal of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim to commemorate and document the extermination and martyrdom of the camp's victims," wrote Minister Hanna Wróblewska.

"I thank the custodian of the Memorial Site, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, its management, and all the staff for their uninterrupted work on preserving the memory of this place. On this day, I would like to express the highest respect to all prisoners of Auschwitz and other concentration and extermination camps, memberand s of their families, who suffered along with them through suffering and post-camp trauma. I sincerely thank everyone who has not allowed and does not allow us to forget this tragic chapter in the history of history," the letter read.

The Deputy Governor of Małopolska, Ryszard Śmiałek, read a letter from the Governor of Małopolska, Krzysztof Klęczar: "Respect for the past compels us to pause today, for we do not want to pass indifferently over the drama of World War II, which so profoundly affected our nation. We do not want to forget what has so deeply marked our history in the last century. That is why we are here today—to recall the painful events of 84 years ago," wrote the governor.

The national anthem was played in front of Block 11, and at the Death Wall in the courtyard of Block 11, participants laid wreaths and candles, commemorating all the victims of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz.

On 14 June, wreaths were also laid at the plaque dedicated to the first transport at the building of the former Polish Tobacco Monopoly, near the site of today's Auschwitz Museum. It was there, on 14 June 1940, that the SS placed prisoners in quarantine, and today it houses the Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki State University of Małopolska.

The official commemorations began before noon at the St. Maximilian Center in Harmęże, where an exhibition of works by Marian Kołodziej, a prisoner of the first transport (no. 423), "Memory Negatives. Labyrinths," is presented. A solemn mass was held there, presided over by Bishop Roman Pindel, the ordinary of the Bielsko-Żywiec diocese.

In his homily, he highlighted the tragic fate of people imprisoned in Auschwitz: "They found themselves in extremely difficult conditions. Brought and locked behind the wires of the camp, stripped of everything that gives a sense of dignity, no longer using names and surnames but treated like numbers, deprived of even the slightest security, with shaved heads and in degrading clothing, exhausted by hard labor, constantly hungry and malnourished, sick and powerless in the face of prevailing terror, having no hope for a change in their status," he said.

The bishop emphasized that "at some point, the prisoners became as if absent, devoid of any will to live." "Some preferred to end it all and threw themselves on the wires. Others desperately tried to save themselves at all costs. Still, others showed heroism, giving their last piece of bread to another or their life so that another prisoner could survive a little longer. It is not difficult under such conditions to reject God and the word (…): 'after what I saw in Auschwitz, God does not exist for me,'" pointed out the bishop.

Organizer of the commemoration event:

• Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum 


• St. Maximilian Center in Harmęże
• Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki State University of Małopolska in Oświęcim


• Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation
• Auschwitz Memento Association
• Center of Roma History and Culture 
• Bielsko-Żywiec Diocesan Curia
• Castle Museum in Oświęcim
• Department of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) in Kraków
• Foundation for the Memory of Auschwitz-Birkenau Victims
• Foundation of Memory Sites Near Auschwitz-Birkenau
• Foundation Monument-Hospice for the Town of Oświęcim
• International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim
• Jewish Center in Oświęcim
• Kraków Foundation Center for Information, Meeting, Dialogue, Education and Prayer in Oświęcim
• movart Foundation
• the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression
• the town of Oświęcim
• Oświęcim commune
• Oświęcim County Office
• Province of the St. Anthony of Padua and Blessed Jakub Strzemię of the Order of Friars
• Remembrance Museum of Land of Oświęcim Residents
• Roma Association in Poland
• Society for the Protection of Oświęcim (TOnO)
• the town of Tarnów