Bunker at Monowitz
Ruins of Bomb Shelter
in former Monowitz camp
The photo above shows the ruins of a
bomb shelter which the Nazis built near the Monowitz factories.
The barracks where the prisoners lived at Monowitz have all been
torn down and replaced by houses. The people on the left in the
photo are Polish residents, not tourists. Note the street sign
on the left; this building is on an ordinary city street in Oswiecim.
The factories at Monowitz were built
by the IG Farben company, which was attempting to produce synthetic
rubber, called Buna. The Polish village of Monowice, which was
renamed Monowitz by the Germans, is 4 kilometers from the site
of the factories, which were located on the east side of Oswiecim.
Some of the old factory buildings are still standing, although
now abandoned, while others are still in use as factories. The
concrete wall around the factories, with its distinctive curved
posts, can still be seen along the road from Oswiecim to the
The Monowitz sub-camp was known as Bunalager
(Buna Camp) until November 1943 when it became the KL Auschwitz
III camp with its own administrative headquarters. Auschwitz
III consisted of 28 sub-camps which were built between 1942 and
1944. This area of Upper Silesia was known as the "Black
Triangle" because of its coal deposits. The Buna plant attracted
the attention of the Allies, and there were several bombing raids
on the factories.
Electrical wires and
street light at bunker ruins