How bad was Auschwitz

Giram, Kristian, josh, Anthony, Matthew

Living Conditions

Epidemics and contagious diseases prevailed in the Auschwitz concentration camp, and included dreadful living conditions, which varied during the years that the camp operated, and were different in each part of the camp. In Auschwitz I, prisoners lived in old brick barracks. Several hundred three-tier wooden bunk beds were installed in each building. The overcrowding in Auschwitz I forced basements and lofts into use as living quarters, as well.

Life in the Camp

During the first several months, the prisoners’ rooms had neither beds nor any other furniture. Prisoners slept on straw-stuffed mattresses laid on the floor. After reveille in the morning, they piled the mattresses in a corner of the room. The rooms were so overcrowded that prisoners could sleep only on their sides, in three rows. Three-tiered bunks began appearing gradually in the rooms from February 1941. Theoretically designed for three prisoners, they in fact accommodated more. Aside from the beds, the furniture in each block included a dozen or more wooden wardrobes, several tables, and several score stools. Coal-fired tile stoves provided the heating.

Medical Experiments

At Auschwitz I SS physicians carried out medical experiments in Barrack (Block) 10. SS-Brigadeführer Professor Carl Clauberg, assisted by SS physicians, conducted pseudo-medical research on twins and people of diminutive stature, and performed forced sterilisations of women, castrations of men and hypothermia experiments on adults. The experiments on twins sometimes involved injecting the children with poisons or microbes that infected them with deadly diseases, and other forms of gross mistreatment, which the children often did not survive. The most notorious of the Nazi physicians was SS Captain Dr Josef Mengele, known as The Angel of Death.