Auschwitz Research

By Gabriel Hoff

Auschwitz I

Auschwitz I

Auschwitz was the largest Nazi concentration camp and it was located in southern Poland. It was originally a detention center for political prisoners but later changed into a death camp for the Jewish and other people not considered a part of the Aryan race. It could hold up to about 200,000 people at a time. The purpose of Auschwitz was to rid Germany of all of the Jews by isolating them away from everybody and then eventually killing them. They used gas chambers to try and accomplish this feat. Over 1 million people lost their lives at Auschwitz. When the Soviets approached, the Nazis ordered about 60,000 prisoners on a march to another place to keep them. Auschwitz became the first camp that was liberated.


Life In Auschwitz

Life in Auschwitz wasn't normal, but it wasn't good. Children worked in factories while the adults worked more in the fields or other jobs. It was slave labor. They were also forced to build second stories to the places in which they stayed in order to hold more people. The places in which they stayed were very bad also. They had to sleep in straw-stuffed mattresses which seem very uncomfortable. The rooms were so small that the 700 prisoners in each had to sleep sideways just to fir which is even more uncomfortable. To make matters worse there was only one bathroom with only 22 toilets and urinals. Soon later however, they were given 3 person bunk beds.

Auschwitz-Birkenau

Auschwitz-Birkenau

Birkenau was the largest of the three camps Auschwitz was divided into. The purpose of it was the same as Auschwitz I which was to rid Germany of all of the Jews by isolating them away from everybody and then eventually killing them. It was originally supposed to be a camp for prisoners of war but opened as an extermination camp. Approximately 90% of the victims of the camps were killed in Birkenau.


Life In Birkenau

The houses is Birkenau were made out of wood and brick. The bad part although was that it had no floor and the Earth's floor was exposed on which they had to sleep on. They were soon covered with brick or poured concrete. It was freezing and there was only two iron stoves installed which barely heated any part of the room. Nor was there any electricity to start off with. There were also strict rules that everyone had to follow or there were harsh consequences and punishments that were done to them. Such as that you can't acquire additional food, work in any form in an unsatisfactory way, or smoke to relieve oneself. The consequences involved being put on "the post" or hanging torture. So life on Birkenau wasn't any better than Auschwitz I.

Sources

Punishments and Executions / History / Auschwitz-Birkenau History.com


"AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU." Life in the Camp / History / Auschwitz-Birkenau. Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau. Web. 08 May 2016.


History.com Staff. "Auschwitz." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 08 May 2016.