by: Mason S.
What was the Holocaust? Most people don't know the answer, the holocaust was the mass extermination and cremation of more than six million people, and it remains the largest mass murder ever. During the holocaust most people were taken to various camps to be killed, the largest most well known was a camp called Auschwitz. The three things that made Auschwitz famous were the purpose, layout, and conditions which were all very gruesome.
The purposes of Auschwitz
The purposes of Auschwitz were the same as other camps except all three types of camps were found at Auschwitz, there was a extermination camp, a concentration camp, and a forced labor camp. In Auschwitz, the purpose of the original camp Auschwitz I was to concentrate and intimidate prisoners of war as well as the polish and Jewish population. Although Auschwitz II was the main extermination camp, Auschwitz I had crematories that weren't equipped for mass extermination. Being an extermination camp Auschwitz II was the largest of the three main camps, as more and more people were deported to Auschwitz, Auschwitz II got more crowded which lead to increased killing. In the height of the mass murder Auschwitz II was disposing of over ten thousand people a day. The third and final main camp was Auschwitz III, Auschwitz III was a small labor camp that would help the war effort and kill unfit prisoners. By the end of the war over one million Jews and other groups of people had been in Auschwitz.
The layout of Auschwitz
The layout of Auschwitz was very different from other camps, Auschwitz had three main camps the largest Auschwitz II had Auschwitz I in between it and Auschwitz III but it also had over fourty sub camps. Auschwitz II was equipped with 253 barracks that were designed for horses, but were outfitted to hold 100,000 prisoners as well as four specially designed gas chamber crematoriums. In Auschwitz, Auschwitz II was the main camp so it was the largest and the most overcrowded. It even had a large northern section meant just for storing the stolen possessions of prisoners. Auschwitz I was very similar to Auschwitz II but on a much smaller scale. It had only one crematoria and much better living conditions with less overcrowding, but it did have a punishment center, Block eleven. Auschwitz III was the smallest of the the three camps that sat at the end of a larger system of factories, and served as the hub for over fourty sub camps. In the end the real layout of Auschwitz was to kill, torture, and punish prisoners brought there against their will.
Auschwitz was an awful place with the worst conditions imaginable, just one example would be that up to twenty people would often have to sleep in a three tier bunk and when more people arrived they were simply crammed into the available space. There were other problems with Auschwitz that didn't have to do with space and lack of privacy, disease ran rampant and hygiene was nonexistent with one bathroom hut serving seven-thousand people a day. The problems extended past individual well being to the power the Nazis had over the camp, they tortured and punished people for no reason other to intimidate prisoners; they also did things like steal personal belongings leaving the prisoners vulnerable and scared. Even when WWII was nearing the end and Auschwitz was about to be liberated the Nazis attempted to destroy their killing facilities and forced sixty-thousand prisoners on a march to be killed right before they were going to be saved.
The End of the War
By the the end of the war over six million people had been murdered with over one million going through Auschwitz, Auschwitz to this day remains the deadliest mass murder in history. The history of Auschwitz is famous and what makes Auschwitz famous is the purpose, layout, and conditions which were so terrible. It is a place important to honoring and remembering the Holocaust.