One of the nine camps in Birkenau, used to store the plundered property of Jews who were the victims of extermination. The first storehouse of this type (called Kanada I in the camp jargon) was set up in the summer of 1942 next to the site where the DAW German Equipment Works factory (German companies) was being built, between Birkenau and Auschwitz I. A much bigger complex of 30 storage barracks built on the grounds of Birkenau, near one of the gas chambers, became operational in December 1943 (Kanada II).
This was the main depository for luggage that arrived from the spring of 1944 with Jews from Hungary (Sonderaktion “Ungarn”) and the Litzmannstadt ghetto. At the peak period, up to two thousand prisoners were directly employed at the two Kanada complexes unloading items from trucks and sorting them. A separate “order Kommando” collected suitcases and other items from the train cars and the ramp.
Kanada was universally acknowledged to be one of the best places to work, along with the kitchen and the food pantries. This surely explains the name of the Kommando—Canada was then regarded as a land of prosperity and abundance.