by Cassidy Greany
During the Holocaust, all the prisoners were introduced to a unimaginable new way of life. Many prisoners who had a lower social status were forced to do factory work, mining, and construction. The prisoners with a higher social status mainly had chores to do indoors. The living conditions were very harsh and the German guards, known as "kapos", would mistreat the prisoners. Rudolf Hoss was the commandant of the camp and was the one who came up with the extermination of the prisoners. When the prisoners first entered the camp, they saw the words "Arbeit Macht Frei", which means work will give you freedom. Auschwitz was created since it was a part of the Nazis "Final Solution.
The inside of one of the gas chambers that the prisoners were gassed and killed in.
Prisoners in Auschwitz surrounded by the barbed wire fences.
The entrance to Auschwitz I.
Auschwitz II is also known as "Birkenau". This camp was far worse than Auschwitz II. The conditions were very poor due to there was no running water and no sanitary equipment, causing disease breakouts. By August 1942 a section of the barracks was now considered the women's camp which held 15,000 working women. Many insects infested the living areas of the prisoners. This camp had gas chambers and crematoriums. The purpose of these devices were to kill off the prisoners. This was a constant reminder to the prisoners that they could be gassed and cremated at any time.