Auschwitz concentration camp (Konzentrationslager Auschwitz (kɔntsɛntʁaˈtsi̯oːnsˌlaːɡɐ ˈʔaʊʃvɪts); also KL Auschwitz or KZ Auschwitz) was a complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland (in a portion annexed into Germany in 1939) during World War II and the Holocaust. It consisted of Auschwitz I, the main camp (Stammlager) in Oświęcim; Auschwitz II-Birkenau, a concentration and extermination camp with gas chambers; Auschwitz III-Monowitz, a labor camp for the chemical conglomerate IG Farben; and dozens of subcamps. The camps became a major site of the Nazis' Final Solution to the Jewish question.
After Germany initiated World War II by invading Poland in September 1939, the Schutzstaffel (SS) converted Auschwitz I, an army barracks, into a prisoner-of-war camp. The initial transport of political detainees to Auschwitz consisted almost solely of Poles (for whom the camp was initially established). For the first two years, the major