Auschwitz

A Concentration and Death Camp

Did you know Auschwitz is the largest concentration and death camp to exist? On April 27, 1940, Leader of Protection Squadrons, Heinrich Himmler, said to build Auschwitz. The reason it is named “Auschwitz” is because it is the German name for the Poland city, Oświęcim (oush-veen-cheem). Auschwitz is made up of three parts, Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II or Birkenau, and Auschwitz III or Monowitz. The biggest section of Auschwitz is Auschwitz Il, while the smallest section is Auschwitz I. The total area of Auschwitz is approximately 40 square kilometers, or 25 square miles.
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Auschwitz was the place where many were killed. It was capable of killing 2,000 people a day or 60,000-62,000 people a month. An estimated 1.1 million were killed by various reasons. These included lethal medical experiments, subjection to the gas chamber, and malnutrition. Others were shot, placed in low-pressure chambers, and numerous deadly diseases.


Life was tough in the Auschwitz concentration and death camp. The prisoners had to make their own bed and go to morning roll call. Most times roll call would last three-four hours, and the prisoners would stand in only their striped clothing in rain and even snow. Prisoners would sometimes die during roll call. After roll call was over, they got their breakfast, consisting of a little piece of bread with a thin slice of salami or an ounce of jam, and tasteless coffee.

Once breakfast was over, the prisoners were immediately escorted by armed SS officers and attack dogs to their work stations. The prisoners’ work consisted of digging trenches, making chemicals, munitions and ammunition, quarrying, and mining coal. Mainly their work was building, working in factories, or farming. There was no heat or running water in any of the camps, so winter was very harsh for the prisoners. After their work was finished, the prisoners went back to their beds in the barracks; and that sums up their day-to-day life.


The text above helps to prove that Auschwitz was a very brutal and horrendous place. Many people never saw their families again. Out of about 1.3 million people, only 200,000 people lived long enough to see the end of Auschwitz. The remaining prisoners that survived were set free when Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, 1945. Most of the SS officers were brought to justice from their post-war trial.