Auschwitz2nd Period By: Dylan Vogt Auschwitz was the name of the largest concentration camp under the ruling of Adolf Hitler, and his Nazi regime. There were 3 main camps in Auschwitz, which were all located in Poland. In 1939, Germany invaded Poland, which was one of the reasons that World War II was started. Germany annexed a lot of Poland in October 1939, which is why they built Auschwitz there. Construction on Auschwitz began in 1940, and ended in 1942.
The first camp that was constructed was known as Auschwitz I. The building that they used was originally a Polish army barracks. Around 15,000 to 20,000 prisoners were held in Auschwitz I. It held prisoners from 1940-1945, and was near the city, O?wi?cim, which was in Southern Poland. The first prisoners that were forced to go to Auschwitz were prisoners from another concentration camp in Germany, called Sachsenhausen.
Auschwitz I was intended to hold Polish political prisoners. The prisoners in Auschwitz I were overworked, and underfed. Auschwitz I had a crematorium, as well as a gas chamber that they frequently used. When it was first built, it didn’t have a gas chamber. Although, there was an empty basement in block 11 that they would later use as a temporary gas chamber.
It wasn’t until a few months later that they got a permanent gas chamber near the crematorium. The new and improved gas chamber was in its own room, that was only used for gassing the prisoners. There was also another very deadly place in Auschwitz I. It was known as the “Black Wall,” guards that were monitoring it executed thousands of prisoners at that spot. SS guards would shoot the prisoners, and then two Jewish inmates would carry the dead body to a pile of other dead bodies, and then the pile was later removed.
The second camp was called Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and was built in 1941. Birkenau was the largest building in Auschwitz, and it wasn’t even close. It served as a killing center, and its estimated that 90% of all prisoners at Auschwitz were killed at Birkenau. There was a total of four gas chambers in Birkenau. The first two gas chambers in Birkenau, were originally farmhouses. The first one that was built, was known as the “the little red house.
” Its first gassing was in January 1942, but was later destroyed. The second gas chamber that was built in Birkenau, was known as the “little white house.” It was built in June 1942, and lasted until 1944.
The chamber gassed thousands of prisoners, but the SS wanted to make an even larger one. They said the size of the little white house was too small for the amount of prisoners that they were planning on gassing. Birkenau was divided into ten different sections, and the walls that were dividing them all had electrictrified barbed-wire fences. Auschwitz-Birkenau also separated the different genders and races. It had a large killing center, which played a major role in killing the Jews. When Auschwitz I was first constructed, they experimented with different types of gases to gas the prisoners. Zyklon B ended up being the most effective, so the other two camps adopted the deadly gas. In March, 1943, construction was started on four very large crematorium buildings, and were completed in June, 1943.
Each of the four buildings were equipped with three important areas. They all had a disrobing area, a gas chamber, and the crematorium ovens. In the disrobing area, the prisoners had to undress, and give the guards anything that they had. The gas chamber is where the prisoners were gassed with Zyklon B, and the crematorium ovens is where they burned the dead bodies. Gassing at Auschwitz-Birkenau continued until November, 1944.
Jews arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau from 1942-1944. Trains transported the Jews to concentration camps from many countries in Europe that were allied with Germany. In three months, there were 440,000 Jews that were deported, and 426,000 were sent to Auschwitz. When the train arrived at Birkenau, about 320,000 of them were sent directly to the gas chambers. The SS staff examined each prisoner to see if they were fit to do forced labor. About 110,000 Jews were fit to do forced labor. The Jews that weren’t selected for forced labor were sent to the gas chamber, and shower heads hid the places that the gas came out of. In total, about 1.
1 million people died in Auschwitz, and around 960,000 of them were Jewish. The prisoners organized a revolt in 1944 when they learned that they were going to be killed. Jewish women smuggled in explosives from nearby factories that they worked at, and blew up the crematorium and a nearby gas chamber, and they also killed three guards. The women who smuggled in the explosives were publicly hanged. Auschwitz III was built in October 1942, and was the last camp to be built. It was commonly called Monowitz or Buna.
I.G. Farben was a German who got very rich off of the forced labor from the prisoners in Auschwitz. He made a factory that produced fuels and synthetic rubber. He invested 700 million Reichsmarks into Auschwitz III, which was about 2.
8 million USD in 1941. Auschwitz III mainly used the prisoners forced labor, and wasn’t used to kill the prisoners. In January 1945, Soviet forces came to Auschwitz, and the prisoners and guards had to evacuate. There was about 60,000 prisoners left and they were forced to march to either Gliwice or Wodzislaw.
If they fell behind, or couldn’t keep up, they were shot. A total of about 15,000 Jews died in the march from starvation, and the harsh cold weather. When they arrived. They were transported to another concentration camp in Germany. They were on a train for days, without food, water, or blankets.
Many didn’t survive. On January 27th, 1945, the Soviet army liberated prisoners from the Auschwitz concentration camps.