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Hello. I am wondering about the names of the concentration camps and specifically if any of them would translate into "beechwood". I was unsure were to begin a search so even just a point in the right direction would great! Thank you!

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers: *

Thank you for your note.

I am one of the persons at the Holocaust History Project that responds to questions such as yours. You might receive other responses from my colleagues.

The camp that you are referring to is "Birkenau" which signifies "beechwood" in English. This camp is part of the Auschwitz complex in Poland. You can find out more about this camp by clicking on the following link:


Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

* Mike Stein points out that this answer is in error and that Beechwood refers to Buchenwald.

Hosea Azriel comments:

Birkenau means "Birchmead" with "mead" being the archaic English word for "meadow." I used "mead" because the German "Au" is poetic for "meadow" and often appears in place names. ("Au" is not to be confused with "Gau" which is archaic for "region." But the Nazis revived it with their term "Gauleiter. "Gau" survives today in the name of the town infamous for its antisemitic passion play - Oberammergau.) "Beechwood" in German translates to another infamous KZ, however - Buchenwald.

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