On this day, June 14, 1940, twenty Polish Jews from a group of 728 Polish prisoners from Tarnów become the first Jewish prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp (30 German criminals had been assigned to Auschwitz earlier in May). In this photo, the first prisoners are seen boarding the train from Tarnów to Auschwitz on June 14, 1940. The prisoners were political prisoners and members of the Polish resistance. The remaining 708 prisoners were Catholic, since the mass deportation of Jews had not yet begun. Miraculously, 200 members of the first transport survived Auschwitz.
Thomas E. Keefe
Assistant Professor of Humanities,