Auschwitz I Research

By: Nick Kent


Auschwitz opened in the Spring of 1940 and is the largest death camps out of all of them. The sign in the main entrance of Auschwitz is "Arbeit Macht Frei", which means "Work makes you free" and the German soldiers stood by that saying. Auschwitz I homed a total of 15,000 to 20,000 political prisoners. Auschwitz I was the main camp used and it started production in 1940 from an abandoned Polish army barracks in a suburb of a city. The SS authorities used forced labor against the prisoners to clear out 15.44 square miles to build Auschwitz.

What are the purposes of Auschwitz?

There were 3 purposes of Auschwitz:

1. To incarcerate real and perceived enemies of the Nazi regime and the German occupation for an indefinite period of time.

2. To provide a supply of forced laborers for deployment in SS owned enterprises.

3. To eliminate small populations of people decided by the SS and the authorities.

Auschwitz is responsible for the death of 1.1 million jews and 200,000 deaths of other prisoners.

What's the daily life of prisoners at Auschwitz and Birkenau?

Here is the schedule for the daily life of Prisoners:

  • 4 Am- wake up by the kapo yelling at you
  • Breakfast consists of 10 oz of bread and "coffee"
  • The officers take morning roll call
  • Next, they are told to Move off of the Kommandos
  • Then they work 12-14 hour shifts
  • Lunch break
  • The afternoon
  • Return to camp
  • Then they take an evening roll call
  • The dinner
  • Finally, the evening

Important figures of Auschwitz:


Birkenau opened the same day as Auschwitz I on October 8, 1941. This camp could hold up to 150,000 prisoners and was one of the largest concentration camps in Europe. About 90% of prisoners that were killed in Birkenau were Jewish.

The Purpose of Birkenau:

The main purpose and reason of extermination camps is to either work the prisoners to death or just by simply killing them in any means necessary.