Auschwitz Research

By: Gabrielle Hoff

Auschwitz I

It was a concentration camp, built by the SS (Schutzstaffel) in May and June of 1940. The location of this concentration camp was in Oświęcim (Auschwitz). Auschwitz I consisted of 22 brick building before the war. Auschwitz I was about 40 sq. km and it also contained 40 camps that branched off several hundred kilometers. There were about 135 thousand people that stayed at this camp. The purpose of this concentration camp was for slow killings, inhuman conditions, and starvation.


  • Out of the 13 thousand people in the camp, 105 thousand prisoners were registered and the the other 30 thousand were unregistered.
  • The main labor assignment was to work in workshops, supply stores, or SS companies.
  • After the camp closed their gas chambers in October 1944, the whole camp entered liquidation; which caused the evacuation of prisoners to end.


Rudolf Hoss...
  • SS-Obersturmbannführer
  • longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II.

Arthur Liebehenschel...

  • a commandant at the Auschwitz and Majdanek death camps during World War
  • convicted of war crimes by the Polish government following the war and executed in 1948.

Richard Baer...

  • SS-Sturmbannführer
  • a German SS officer with the rank of major
  • the commandant of the Auschwitz I concentration camp from May 1944 to February 1945.

Auschwitz II-Birkenau

It was the concentration camp in the Auschwitz complex. Construction of this camp began in October of 1941. The location of this concentration camp was in Auschwitz. Auschwitz I was about 40 km² (24 square miles). There were about 200,000 prisoners that stayed at this camp. The purpose of this concentration camp was the extermination of the Jews and a place for the prisoners to be concentrated before going to the Third Reich.


  • About 90% of the people in the Auschwitz concentration camps died in Auschwitz II-Birkenau
  • The majority of the prisoners were Jews


    Heinrich Himmler...
    • Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel
    • leading member of the Nazi Party of Nazi Germany."
    Karl Hanke...
    • Reichsführer-SS
    • an official of the Nazi Party
    • served as governor of Lower Silesia from 1941 to 1945 and the final Reichsführer-SS
    Fritz Hartjenstein...
    • SS-Obersturmbannführer in the SS-Totenkopfverbände
    • worked at various Nazi concentration camps (Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, etc)

    Daily Life (Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau)

    The prisoners...

    • slept in blocks of houses with no beds
    • worked around 12 hours a day
    • were off on Sundays
    • performed a variety of labor
    • were served three meals a day
    • stand in straight lines at a daily roll call