Shortly after the Wehrmacht took Oświęcim, the German architect Hans Stossberg began work on a project intended to change the face of the city and transform it on the Nazi pattern. Two important factors provided an impetus for such changes: the founding of Auschwitz Concentration Camp and the start of construction of the gigantic IG Farbenindustrie chemical plant in nearby Monowice. Stossberg’s plans called for Oświęcim to be transformed from a small Galician town into a large industrial center, populated exclusively by Germans. They would reside in spacious, modern districts embodying the most meticulous urban planning. All buildings bearing the stigma of the “Polish-Jewish spirit” would be demolished. Shortages of materials and financial problems meant that most of these plans remained on the drawing board. However, they show what the Polish lands would have looked like if Nazi Germany had won the war.
Form: lecture, illustrated with documents and photos
Audiences: Museum guides, intermediate- and secondary-school students, university students, teachers, educators.
Languages: Polish, English
Lecturer: Piotr Setkiewicz, Ph.D.Illustration: Plans for a district in the new German city of Auschwitz