More about Oswiecim

Its known history starts from 1117. Since then, this town has seen turbulent times, with power changing hands several times. Although today it is most famous for the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz, throughout history, Germans and Poles have coexisted peacefully here. It is less than 200 kilometers from Berlin. By the 15th century, the Jews, who were to be so brutally hunted down by Hitler's SS army later, on invitation by Polish rulers, comprised the majority of the population. On the eve of World War II, there were approximately 8000 Jews in the city. Oswiecim also became one of the centers of Protestant culture in Poland.

As if in protest of its bone-chilling recent history of crime and murder, Oswiecim today is the center of several initiatives promoting peace, harmony and non-violence among people regardless of age, color, culture or religion. As recognition of the city's efforts in this direction, Oswiecim received the title of Attorney of Peace in 1998, an honor bestowed by the United Nations.