Auschwitz Research

By Alex Albrecht

Made up of three camps, Auschwitz was a mass extermination camp build outside the Polish city of Oswiecim. It is estimated that of the 1.3 million Jews, Poles, Gypsies, and Soviet prisoners that were sent there, over 1.1 million were killed. The camp was in operation from April 1940 to January 1945, when it was liberated by the Red Army.

Auschwitz I

  • Auschwitz I stood as the main camp. It was used to incarcerate perceived enemies of the Nazi Regime. It also served as a place to systematically kill groups of the people including Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and Soviet POWs.
  • Construction of Auschwitz I began in April 1940. Prisoners there did most of the work building Auschwitz I. The first prisoners were German and Polish political prisoners.
  • Auschwitz I had a gas chamber and a crematorium.
  • Medical experiments were carried out on prisoners most notably on twins, infants, and dwarfs. Notorious SS Captain Dr. Josef Mengele carried out his experiments in Block 10 of Auschwitz I.
  • Prisoners at Auschwitz I were woken up before dawn for a four hour roll call. Prisoners at Auschwitz I slept in beds with up to 10 people. Meals included just enough to keep them working. Bread with salami with soup at lunch.

Auschwitz II-Birkenau

  • Construction began in October 1941
  • Held the most prisoners of all the camps at Auschwitz
  • The majority of killing at Auschwitz was done at Auschwitz II
  • Four large crematoriums were build at Auschwitz II. The Nazis killed hundreds of thousands in gassing chambers using deadly gas Zyklon B
  • From April 1944 to early July 1944, 440,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz. 320,000 of them were sent to the gas chambers.
  • If you were not sent to the gas chambers you would work at the labor camps 11 or 12 hours at day. Followed by a four hour roll call in the freezing cold. Prisoners would be feed bread with often rotten salami or cheese.