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Transcript of Auschwitz
From its initial establishment, Jews were treated with the most cruelty by the SS guards who believed the life of a Jew was the least valuable. Jews were victims of starvation, cold, hard labor, constant harassment and abuse and many operations of extermination.
Liberation of Auschwitz
After the start of world war II, Adolf Hitler put his "Final Solution" into action. Hitler was determined to not only to isolate Jews, but to eliminate every Jew in his possession, including artists, educators, gypsies, communists, homosexuals, the mentally and physically disabled and others marked as unfit for work.
The prisoners were forced to do hard labor for over 11 hours every day. Unlike prisoners at other camps that just had to pick up trash and clean the streets, the prisoners at Auschwitz were forced to work at building the camp including: leveling the ground, erecting new blocks and buildings, laying roads and digging drainage ditches. The final demise of the prisoners was due to the pace of work, food rations and constant beatings and abuse.
Prisoners had to walk sometimes hundred of miles in freezing temperatures with little to no food. They were not given shelter and did not have warm clothing to protect them from the harsh winter cold. Any prisoner who lagged behind or tried to escape was shot. At the beginning of the evacuation in 1945, there were tens of thousands of prisoners who marched westward. Around 15,000 were murdered or died along the way due to starvation, sickness, and cold weather.
Some prisoners were used for medical experiments. Josef Mengle, also known as the "Angle of Death", performed a range of experiments on detainees. For example, in an attempt to change eye color, he injected serum into the eyeballs of young children causing them excruciating pain. He also injected chloroform into the hearts of twins to determine if both siblings would die and in the same manner.
Over 1 million people were slaughtered at Auschwitz. They used crematoriums to get rid of all the dead bodies. Jews were forced to work in the crematoria and to cover up the workings of the crematoria, they would kill the jews that worked in the crematoria every few months. According to the survivors that are still alive, the smell of the burning bodies never really left the air.
The majority of those sent to Auschwitz were Jews. When they arrived at the camp, the prisoners were examined by Nazi doctors. Those unfit for work, including young children, the elderly, and pregnant women, were immediately ordered to take showers. The bathhouses, however, were gas chambers in disguise. Once inside, they were exposed to Zyklon-B poison gas. It is impossible to calculate the number of lives lost at the camp because the ones marked at unfit for work were never officially registered as Auschwitz inmates
Auschwitz: Genesis of
Children of Auschwitz
There were 2 kinds of barracks: wooden and brick. There were around 700 people assigned to each barrack. These barracks lacked heating and clean facilities. Dampness and leaky roofs made difficult living conditions worse. A constant shortage of water for washing, lack of clean facilities, and constant swarming of vermin and rats aggravated the situation.
The Soviet forces came to the Auschwitz camp complex in the middle of January 1945. Around 60,000 prisoners were forced to go on a death march west of the Auschwitz camp. A few days before these marches began, thousands of prisoners were killed. On these marches the SS guards shot anyone who fell behind or couldn't continue. More than 15,000 died during the death marches from Auschwitz from cold weather, malnutrition, and exposure. Auschwitz was ordered to be abandoned so buildings were torn down, blown up or set on fire and all of the records were destroyed. When the Soviet Army came to Auschwitz they found at least 7,600 sick or emaciated prisoners who were left behind. Liberators also found mounds of corpses, hundreds of thousands of articles of clothing and pairs of shoes, and seven tons of human hair that had been shaved from the heads of prisoners before their liquidations. An estimation of 1.1 million to 1.5 million people died at Auschwitz during its years of operation.
The SS guards collected the shoes of those who died
The prisoners were forced to dig drainage ditches
Josef Mengel "Angle of Death"
SS Guards treated Jews with the most cruelty.
Auschwitz death camp
Very few people survived death marches.
Not many young children made it through registration
The barrracks where the prisoners stayed were dirty and infested with bugs
There were approximately 232 thousand children at Auschwitz. The fate of children was the same as the adults. They endured cold conditions with no food, they were used as laborers, their punishment was often being put to death and being used for medical experiments. When the Soviet soldiers arrived, there were around 500 children under 15 years of age. Babies born in Auschwitz were killed immediately, regardless of their ethnicity.
The main camp in Oświęcim was Auschwitz I. Auschwitz I held about 16,000 prisoners. This particular part of Auschwitz was used for administration purposes. The majority of the work the prisoners did at Auschwitz I was in factories, workshops, and for SS companies. Most people that died in Auschwitz I were from natural causes, but still a fair amount of them died from intentional death
Auschwitz III is also known as Monowitz. Monowitz was like Birkenau in the sence that their working conditions were harsh and thousands of prisoners died. Most fell victim to miserable rations, lack if warm clothing, dangerous working sites, or were one of the many selected for the gas chambers. From 1942 to 1944, the population gradually rose from 1.3 thousand people to 11 thousand. Unlike the barracks in the other parts of Auschwitz, Monowitz's barracks had windows and were heated in the winter.
Many problems that formed while running the largest Death camp led to the formal division in 1943.
Auschwitz II is also known as Birkenau. Birkenau was the largest out of all of the other camps and sub-camps that make up Auschwitz and was originally designed to hold 125 thousand prisoners of war, but in 1942 they revised those plans and doubled the capacity. Birkenau was where mass killings of prisoners happened. At least 90% of the prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp died in Birkenau.
Sub-camps and their jobs
Altdorf: forestry work
Althammer: construction of electricity power plant
Babitz: agricultural work
Birkenau: agricultural work
Bismarckhütte: production of cannons and armored vehicles
Blechhammer: construction of chemical plant
Bobrek: production of electrical apparatus for aircraft and submarines
Brünn: construction on the SS and police technical acadamy
Budy (April 1943-autumn 1944): Agricultural work
Budy (April 1942-January 1945): Agricultural work
Budy (June 1942-spring 1943): digging ditches and cleaning and deepening fish ponds
Buna: construcion of chemical complex
Charlottegrube: coal mining and mine construction work.
Chełmek: labor at the shoe factory
Eintrachthütte: anti-aircraft artillery
Freudenthal: fruit processing
Fürstengrube: coal mining and the excavation of a new mine
Gleiwitz I: repair of railroad rolling stock
Gleiwitz II: producton of coal tar (women) and repair and maintenence of machinery
Gleiwitz III: production of arms, ammunition, and railroad wheels
Gleiwitz IV: expansion of barracks and repair and reconditioning of military vehicles
Altdorf: 10-20 prisoners
Althammer: 486 prisoners
Babitz: 159 male and 180 female
Birkenau: 204 male
Bismarckhütte: 192 prisoners
Blechhammer: 3958 prisoners
Bobrek: 213 male and 38 female
Brünn: 250 prisoners
Budy (April 1943-autumn 1944): 300 female
Budy (April 1942-January 1945): 313 prisoners
Budy (June 1942-spring 1943): 400 female
Charlottegrube: 833 prisoners
Chełmek: 150 prisoners
Eintrachthütte: 1,297 prisoners
Freudenthal: 301 female
Fürstengrube: 1,283 prisoners
Gleiwitz I: 1,336 prisoners
Gleiwitz II: 740 male and 371 female
Gleiwitz III: 609 prisoners
Gleiwitz IV: 444 prisoners
Golleschau: 1,008 prisoners
Günthergrube: 586 prisoners
Harmense (December 1941-summer 1943): 70 prisoners
Harmense (June 1942-January 1945): 50 female
Hindenburg: 470 female
Hubertshütte: 202 prisoners
Janinagrube: 853 prisoners
Jawischowitz: 1,988 prisoners
Kobior: 158 prisoners
Lagischa: 1,000 prisoners
Laurahütte: 937 prisoners
Lichtewerden: 300 female
Monowitz: 10,223 prisoners
Neu-Dachs: 3,664 prisoners
Neustadt: 399 prisoners
Plawy: 200 female
Radostowitz: 20 prisoners
Raisko: 300 female
Sonderkommando Kattowitz: 10 prisoners
Sosnowitz I: 100 prisoners
Sosnowitz II: 863 prisoners
Solnica: 30 prisoners
SS Hütte Porombka: 10 female
2 SS Bauzug: 500 prisoners
Trzebinia: 641 prisoners
Tschechowitz I: 100 prisoners
Tschechowitz II: 561 prisoners
Golleschau: labor in cement plant
Günthergrube: coal mining and the construction of a new mine
Harmense (December 1941-summer 1943): agricultural work
Harmense (June 1942-January 1945): agriculteral work
Hindenburg: production of weapons and ammunition
Hubertshütte: labor in mills
Janinagrube: coal mining
Jawischowitz: coal mining
Kobior: forestry work
Lagischa: construction of the Walter thermal electric power plant
Laurahütte: production of anti-aircraft artillery in Laura mill
Lichtewerden: labor in the thread factory
Monowitz: construction of chemical complex
Neu-Dachs: coal mining and construction of electric power plants
Neustadt: work in textile mill
Plawy: agricultural work
Radostowitz: forestry work
Raisko: agricultural work
Sonderkommando Kattowitz: construction of air-rade shelters and barracks for the Gestapo
Sosnowitz I: renovation of an office building
Sosnowitz II: labor in steel mills, casting barrels for anti-aircraft cannon and producing shells
Solnica: demolition of buildings at the sight of camps
SS Hütte Porombka: construction and staffing of SS rest houses
2 SS Bauzug: clearing rubble and repairing railroad lines in the city
Trzebinia: expansion of the refinery
Tschechowitz I: removal of unexploded bombs from the refinery
Tschechowitz II: clearing rubble and maintaining the refinery
Sub-camps and their jobs cont.
In 1942, the gas chamber, "Bunker No. 1" was built. It was more commonly known as "the little red house" due to its brick walls.
When the population of the camp started to grow rapidly, they decided that they needed another gas chamber in order to exterminate more prisoners, deemed unfit for work, at once. Thus, the creation of Bunker No. 2. Bunker No. 2 was also known as "the little white house" because of its white walls.
"The Little Red House"
"The Little White House"
Ernest W. Michel
The first camp Ernest Michel attended was Paderborn. Then one morning he was sent to Auschwitz.
"We weren’t treated so badly at Paderborn. At least not compared to how we were treated in Auschwitz later. We just had to work very hard. After about nine months I was then taken to Auschwitz in a cattle train. The journey lasted four days and five nights. I had never heard of Auschwitz before, so I didn’t know what being taken there meant. There was such a strange smell in the air."
"I was taken to Monowitz, which is where they built Buna, the factory for making synthetic rubber. One day I was hit over the head by a member of the SS, the wound got infected and started to fester. So I was forced to go to the camp hospital, which normally you would avoid at all costs, as being there was incredibly dangerous. But I didn’t have any choice. While I was in the hospital a well-dressed gentleman turned up looking for people who had very good handwriting, which I did.
Ernest W. Michel (cont.)
"I had to write documents and fill out death certificates. Of course the reason for death we had to give was never “the gas chamber.” We wrote “physical weakness” or “heart failure..."
Since he had very good handwriting, he was allowed to live, but if he wouldn't have had good handwriting he would have been killed because he was too weak to work
Ernest W. Michel
Eva and Miriam Mozes
Eva and Miriam Mozes were twins born Portz, Romania on January 30, 1934. They lived a normal life until 1944 when they and thier family were told to pack up a few belongings because they were going to be taken to a ghetto in Simleul Silvanei and later be deported to Auschwitz where they would have a wide range of medical experiments performed on them.
'When the doors to our cattle car opened, I heard SS soldiers yelling, "Schnell! Schnell!", and ordering everybody out. My mother grabbed Miriam and me by the hand. She was always trying to protect us because we were the youngest. Everything was moving very fast, and as I looked around, I noticed my father and my two older sisters were gone. As I clutched my mother’s hand, an SS man hurried by shouting, "Twins! Twins!" He stopped to look at us. Miriam and I looked very much alike. "Are they twins?" he asked my mother. "Is that good?" she replied. He nodded yes. "They are twins," she said.
Once the SS guard knew we were twins, Miriam and I were taken away from our mother, without any warning or explanation. Our screams fell on deaf ears. I remember looking back and seeing my mother's arms stretched out in despair as we were led away by a soldier. That was the last time I saw her .."
As adults, they both had medical issues. Eva suffered through miscariages and tuberculosis. Miriam's lungs never fully developed and she died in 1993 from a rare form of cancer most likely caused from the injections and unknown medical experiments.
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SPIEGEL ONLINE." SPIEGEL ONLINE. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
"Auschwitz Survivor: "I Can Identify with Palestinian Youth"" The
Electronic Intifada. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
"Auschwitz-Birkenau - Home Page - History." Auschwitz-Birkenau -
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Josef Mengele would preform amputations on children while they were awake
He attempted to make siamese twins by attatching two gypsy twins to the same organs. They lived for 3 days then died.
He injected his victims with many different diseases in order to try to find a cure