Auschwitz - Nazi Concentration Camp


Located thirty-seven miles west of Krakow, Auschwitz was the 
camp where Jewish people were killed and worked. This camp , out of 
all the rest tortured the most people. At the camp there was a a place 
caled the "Black Wall," this was where the people were executed . In 
March of of 1941, there was another camp that started to be built. 
This second camp was called Auschwitz II, or Birkinau. It was located 
1.9 miles away from Auschwitz I. Peple that were chosen to come to 
these camps were expelled from their homes. Their houses were 
destroyed for the pupose of buildinf Birkinau. Birkinau had nine 
sub-units. They were separated from each other by electrically charged 
fences that lines their borders. In August 1942, the womens section at 
Auscwitz I was moved to Birkinau. Nine hundred and ninty-nine women 
from Ravensbruck camp and other women from different camps joined them 
also. Birkinau now had over 6,000 women prisoners being held. In the 
town Monowitz, another camp was being built. This camp was called 
auschwitz III, or Buna-Monowitz. Other camps that were located close 
to Monowitz were moved to Buna-Monowitz. The population of Bikinau was 
the most densly populated out of all the camps. It also had the most 
cruel and and bad conditions of all the camps in the complex. The 
prisoners at Birkinau mostly consisted of Jews, Poles, and Germans. 
There were a number of Gypsy and Czech Jew family camps located at 
Birkinau for a period of time also. In Birkinau, the gas chambers and 
the creamatoria, where the bodies were burned operated at auschwitz I. 
Birkinau and all the other sub-camps were mostly forced labor camps. 
The most recognized of the labor camps are, Budy, Czechowitz, 
Glenwitz, Rajsko, and Furstenarube. The prisoners here were worked to 
the piont of death. Trains transported people to the camps, and 
violently forced them off the train. All of the people's property was 
left on the train also. They prisoners were sent into two different 
lines, one for women and the other for men. The lines moved into the 
place were a procedure called Selektion took place. The ones who could 
work were not killed ot this time, but the women, children, and others 
that couldn't work were gased. The prisoners that were to work, had 
their clothes taken, heads shaved, got sterilized, and were given 
black and white striped clothes to wear. In the forced labor camps, 
the average life time was only a few months. Some of the prisoners 
that couldn't react or move became what was known as Muselmann. A 
dreaded part of camps was the Appell, or roll call. In this, prisoners 
were sent out into the cold night after a hard day of work, and lined 
up. Anyone that fell to the ground was shot or gased. One more of all 
the bad work chores was the Sonderkommando. Dong this meant that you 
burned the bodies of the dead prisoners in the creamatoria. Tattoos 
were given to the prisoners on their right arm as an easier way of 
registration. Not all of the earlier prisoners had this tattoo, but 
the regiterd number of prisoners was 405,000. The daily routine in the 
complex differed in each camp, but the basic routine was the same. 
They: woke at dawn, cleaned their areas, morning roll call was taken, 
they walked to the work site, worked for long hours, had to wait in 
lines for food, then walked bback to their bunks, block inspection was 
done, and then evening roll call was taken. There were also people who 
got picked for medical experiments. The best known docter at Auschwitz 
was Josef Mengele. His experiments were mostly done on twins and 
dwarfs. He did lots of things that had to do with seeing how ling it 
would take a person to die if you do this or that. He also did 
experiments that had to do with cutting off body parts, and 
reattaaching them to different parts of the body. By January 20th, 
1944, the population of the Aushwitz complex had reached 80,839. That 
number rose up and up as the monthes past and more prisoners came. The 
first gas chamber to be used was bult in Auschwitz I. The gas that was 
used in the chambers was called Zyklon B. In Birkinau, the largest 
number of people that could be killed in the gas chambers was 6,000 
people daily. The gas chambers lookes just like shower rooms. The 
prisoners were told they needed to be cleaned before work, and were 
then killed in the stalls. On the borders of Auschwitz I and Birkinau, 
electrical fences were put up. Watchtowers and S.S. men lined the 
complex with automatic guns to be used in any escape situations. 
Canals also lined the border of Birkinau. Starting in March of 1942, 
trains arrived at Auschwitz-Birkinau daily, carrying Jews from Europe. 
The prisoners anger and rebelion to the Nazis was always there, but 
only a few people decided to do anthing though. In the most difficult 
times, 667 prisoners tried to escape. Only 270 of them made it, and 
the ones who got caught were executed. Jewish leaders wanted to have 
the Allied powers bomb Auschwitz at one time. This never did happen 
though. A group of women at the camp destroyed one of the gas chambers 
in an uprise. The leaders of the uproar were found and executed on 
January 6th, 1945.


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