Since 1947 the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum in Poland has been working to highlight the atrocities of the Holocaust. Standing on the site of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, the museum displays thousands of objects stolen from Jews. One of these items, a mug, has recently been found to carry a secret – more than 70 years after it was first exhibited by the museum.
The Auschwitz concentration camp was actually a chain of sites run by the Nazis throughout World War Two. The first element to be created was Auschwitz I, which initially housed Polish prisoners from 1940. Displayed on the gates of this camp was the phrase, “Arbeit macht frei,” which translates as, “Work sets you free.”
By 1941 the Nazis had escalated their anti-Semitic atrocities. In October of that year work began on a second camp, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, to hold the growing number of prisoners being brought to the facility. And it was around this point that the Nazis began to effect the Final Solution.