Virtual Auschwitz: An Exploration of a Death Camp

Robert S. Leventhal
Networked Fellow, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
University of Virginia

Copyright @1995 by Robert S. Leventhal, all rights reserved. This text may be shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law. Redistribution or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires permission of the author.

Auschwitz was designated to be the central site of the Nazi Genocide by Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer S.S. and Rudolf Höss, Commandant of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. For the reasons that it was centrally located in Poland, that it supported excellent train connections, and that it was easily camouflaged, it was selected to be the key site for the extermination of European Jewry. Whereas the proper name 'Auschwitz' signifies the very idea of the Nazi Genocide of the Jews, and has been a symbolic name for discussions of the Holocaust, it was was also a concrete, everyday reality, a specific place with many different aspects and physical areas: Auschwitz I, primarily a concentration camp, Auschwitz II (Birkenau), the death camp, Auschwitz III (Monowitz), a camp for political prisoners and other people dubbed "undesirable" by the Nazis, and Buna, where I.G. Farben, one of the largest conglomerates of the world at the time, had a synthetic oil and rubber research and production facility. Unlike the philosophical discourse that subsumes the Holocaust under this name "Auschwitz," it is imperative to reach back behind the name and probe the reality of Auschwitz in its multiplicity, its complexity, its disparate spatial and logistical expanse. In order to do this, the hypermedia study and research archive Responses to the Holocaust offers the reader/viewer a chance to explore this site by using the clickable map, to study each of its many "installations," in an attempt to get closer to the concrete, material reality of Auschwitz and the Nazi Genocide. By clicking on any of the areas whose name is enclosed in a box, you will move to other hypertextual documents that explore each specific, concrete aspect of Auschwitz.

The Nazi Genocide of the European Jews, 1933-45
The Auschwitz II-Birkenau Documents
Auschwitz I: The Original Camp
The IG Farben Synthetic Chemical Plant at Buna
The Town of Oswiecem (Auschwitz)

This document was last modified on July 20, 1995