By Patrick Cur

Auschwitz I


  • Held about 16,000 prisoners in 1944
  • Main offices for political and prisoner labor departments
  • Storages and workshops were located here
  • Executions were done in public by hanging

Living Conditions

  • Prisoners in different buildings, called blocks
  • Each block shared it's own bathrooms
  • For a two story block designed to fit 700 prisoners, there were actually 1200
  • Blocks were brick and had no reliable source of heating
  • Prisoners had three-tier bunk beds
  • The food rationed was based on work, but maxed out at around 1,700 calories.
  • 10 hours per day were spent doing labor.

Important Figures of Auschwitz I

  • SS Major Richard Baer - The last commander at Auschwitz I
  • Kazimier Piechowski - One of very few prisoners who managed to successfully escape from Auschwitz
  • SS Captain Dr. Josef Mengele - One of the most known SS Doctors in Auschwitz

Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau)


  • Held the largest population of prisoners in Auschwitz
  • Separated into ten different sections by electrified, barbed wire fences
  • Contained the "killing center" and crematorium.
  • Approximately 90% of the victims in the Auschwitz Camp as a whole died in the Auschwitz II concentration camp.

Living Conditions

Each section typically held different groups of people, such as a camp for gypsies, a camp for jews, and so on. Auschwitz 2 was the main concentration camp, using barns as gas chambers.

Important Figures

  • Rudolf Höss - Started the usage of gas chambers upon appointment.
  • Heinrich Himmler - Issued decrees for camp expansion and upgrades, including bigger barracks.