After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the Jewish population of Silesia was subjected to persecution.
Those sent to ghettos were expelled to concentration and forced labour camps from 1942. Auschwitz-Birkenau and Gross-Rosen concentration camps were established in Silesia. Between 5 May and 17 June 1942, 20,000 Silesian Jews were sent to Auschwitz.
After the war, Silesia became a major centre for the repatriation of Jews who had survived the Holocaust. By 1946, 70,000 Jewish survivors had returned to Silesia.