Organized groups visiting Poland with their intensive itineraries are often lacking a proper historical context. Facts they are presented about this country and sites they visit begin to have some meaning only if they are interwoven into the complex history of Central Europe. Apart from the general historical lectures we also offer very specialized research presentations giving an in-depth understanding of social, political and religious changes in Poland through the centuries.


  • History of Poland
  • History of Jews in Poland
  • History of Catholic Church in Poland
  • History of Polish - Jewish relations
  • Hasidism
  • Zionism
  • 20th century history of Poland
  • German occupation in Poland
  • Holocaust in Poland
  • Holocaust Education in Poland
  • Righteous Among the Nations in Poland
  • Jewish genealogy in Poland
  • History of religious and cultural minorities in Poland.

Lecture on German-Nazi Concentration and Death Camps for 200 Medical University students in Cracow. March 30th, 2012.


Nazi Concentration Camps:


  1. Name taken from the British Concentration Camps from the Second Anglo-Boer war.
  2. After "Reichstag fire" establishment of "Sondergerichte" to promote political terror. An estimated number of 70.000 German nationals were executed under this low till 1945.
  3. March 1933 Dachau as the first Nazi Camp for political prisoners in Germany.
  4. In 1934 the Camp are given under the SS command.
  5. Headquarters in Oranienburg.

Next camps being established:

Sachsenhausen - 1936

Buchenwald - 1937

Mauthausen - 1938

Flossenbürg - 1938

Ravensbrück - 1939 (for women)

It is estimated that before 1939 there were 165-170 thousands of prisoners sentenced for different period of stay  in the Nazi Concentration Camps.

Plan of Auschwitz


General Plan East - Generalplan Ost

Major Concentration Camps established:

Stutthof - August  1939

Auschwitz - May  1940

Neuengamme - June 1940

Natzweiler-Struthof - July 1940

Gross-Rosen - August 1940

Bergen-Belsen - October 1940

Majdanek - October 1941

Hertogenbosch - January 1942

Ryga - Kaiserwald - May 1943

Mittelbau-Dora - December 1943

Confusing German camp naming to hide their actual functions: Konzentrationslager, Arbeitslager, Vernichtungslager, Sonderkommando SS, Zwangsarbeitslager, Aufenthaltslagers, Durchgangslager, Transitlager, Schutzhaftlager, Familienlager, Internierungslager etc.


During the war the Camps were operating under the administration of:

  • Reich Main Security Office (RSHA-Reichssicherheitshauptamt),
  • Main SS Economic and Administrative Department (SS-WVHA-Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt),
  • Inspector of the Concentration Camps (Fuhrungs-und Aufsichtshauptamt - Inspektion der Konzentrationslager), from March 3rd 1942 r. became part of  SS-WVHA as Amtsgruppe D. Konzentrationslager.

Major types of Camps Established:

Dachau, Stutthof.

Aerial picture of Auschwiz and Birkenau from 1944

  • Arbeitslager - compulsory labor camps.

Project RIESE Camps. Treblinka I , Pustkow, Szebnie.

  • Kriegsgefangenenlager - various POW camps also called "oflags", "stalags" or "dulags". Very often makeshift and primitively organized especially for the Soviet POW's.


Soviet POW in the Camps - 5,7 million of inmates with 2,8 million estimated casualties.

Soviet POW Camp

  • Police Prisons -  places of investigations, transit and executions.

Fort VII in Poznan, Pawiak in Warsaw, Montelupi Prison Cracow.

  • Germanization Centers - institutions mainly for young Slavic children to be Germanized and then adopted into German families.

Potulice, Kinder KZ Lodz.

  • Resettlement and Transitory Camps - camps used massively in German-Nazi racial cleansing policy by the means of  deportation and extermination.

Konstantynów, Izbica


    Belzec Memorial


    Majdanek Gas Chamber


    Treblinka plan by Samuel Wilenbergl

Belzec , Sobibor and Treblinka were operating under the cryptonym "Aktion Reinhard"