Auschwitz-Birkenau was located nearby the provincial Polish town of Oshwiecim in Galacia, and was established by order of Heinrich Himmler on 27 April 1940. Private diaries of Goebbels and Himmler unearthed from the secret Soviet archives show that Adolf Hitler personally ordered the mass extermination of the Jews - as Goebbels wrote "With regards to the Jewish question, the Fuhrer decided to make a clean sweep ..."