Auschwitz Research

by Kathy Fiallo

Auschwitz I

What was Auschwitz I?

Auschwitz I was the original Auschwitz death concentration camp located in Oswiecim, Poland. It held between 15,000 and 20,000 prisoners, around 10,000 of them being Jewish. It opened in 1940 with Rudolf Höss as the first commandant.

Daily Life of a prisoner in Auschwitz

Prisoners lived in very poor conditions. They lived in old brick barracks were there was no furniture and prisoners had to sleep on the straw filled mattresses on floor, tightly packed on their sides in three rows because of the lack of room. Later on, they got three-tiered bunk beds which they had to share with more than three people. They got their water from two wells and had to share a single bathroom that usually had around 22 toilets for over 1,000 people.

Rudolf Höss ( First Commandant)

Rudolf Höss was born on November 25, 1900 in Baden- Baden. His father always wanted him to become a priest despite that Höss did not want to. When Höss was 15, his father died and he secretly joined the army. He was the first commandant of the Auschwitz camp. He created and tested many methods that accelerated Hitlers plan to get rid of all the Jewish population.

Auschwitz II-Birkenau

What was Auschwitz II-Birkenau

Auschwitz II-Birkenau was the largest of all the Auschwitz camps as it could hold up to 90,000 prisoners. Although it was only opened for three years, it served many different purposes. It was first supposed to be for prisoners of war during its construction. Although, later on it was used as a place were prisoners were considerate until they arrived at labor camps in Germany. Around one million people died in Birkenau, around 90% of the victims that were killed in all Auschwitz camps.

Daily Life of a prisoner in Auschwitz II

Prisoners lived in horrid living conditions. They lived in barracks with, on average, 700 people in each. These barracks were made of either wood or brick. The brick barracks had poor insulation and were far from sanitary. The wooden barracks were damp and had rows of three-tiers bunk beds. They also got a very limited supply of food three times a day. These conditions caused many diseases to become prevalent.

Jack Oran

Jack Oran was a Holocaust survivor who experienced Birkenau first hand. He was born in Yakoff Skurnik in Poland.In 1942, him and his family was sent to Birkenau where his mother, sisters, brothers, and grandparents were killed immediately. His father survived but disappeared. He was used for medical experiments done by Josef Mengele, an officer and physician at Auschwitz. He survived all the torture and later did many interviews to tell his story.