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Auschwitz: Konsentrasiekamp, ​​feite, ligging

Auschwitz: Konsentrasiekamp, ​​feite, ligging


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Auschwitz, ook bekend as Auschwitz-Birkenau, het in 1940 geopen en was die grootste van die Nazi-konsentrasie- en doodskampe. Auschwitz, wat in die suide van Pole geleë is, het aanvanklik gedien as 'n aanhoudingsentrum vir politieke gevangenes. Dit het egter ontwikkel tot 'n netwerk van kampe waar Joodse mense en ander vermeende vyande van die Nazi -staat uitgeroei is, dikwels in gaskamers, of as slawe -arbeid gebruik is. Sommige gevangenes is ook onderworpe aan barbaarse mediese eksperimente onder leiding van Josef Mengele (1911-79). Tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog (1939-45) het meer as 1 miljoen mense, volgens sommige berigte, hul lewens in Auschwitz verloor. In Januarie 1945, met die naderende Sowjet -leër, het Nazi -amptenare beveel dat die kamp verlaat moet word en na raming 60 000 gevangenes op 'n gedwonge optog na ander plekke gestuur het. Toe die Sowjets Auschwitz binnekom, vind hulle duisende uitgeteerde aangehoudenes en hope lyke wat agtergebly het.

Auschwitz: Genesis of Death Camps

Na die begin van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), die kanselier van Duitsland van 1933 tot 1945, 'n beleid geïmplementeer wat bekend staan ​​as die 'Finale Oplossing'. Hitler was vasbeslote om nie net die Jode in Duitsland en lande wat deur die Nazi's geannekseer is te isoleer nie, maar ook aan ontmenslikende regulasies en willekeurige geweld te onderwerp. In plaas daarvan het hy oortuig geword dat sy 'Joodse probleem' slegs opgelos sou word met die uitskakeling van elke Jood in sy domein, saam met kunstenaars, opvoeders, Romas, kommuniste, homoseksuele, verstandelik en liggaamlik gestremdes en ander wat as ongeskik beskou word om in Nazi's te oorleef. Duitsland.

Om hierdie missie te voltooi, beveel Hitler die bou van doodskampe. Anders as konsentrasiekampe, wat sedert 1933 in Duitsland bestaan ​​het en aanhoudingsentrums vir Jode, politieke gevangenes en ander vermeende vyande van die Nazi -staat was, het doodskampe bestaan ​​met die uitsluitlike doel om Jode en ander "ongewenste" dood te maak, in wat bekend geword het as die Holocaust.

Luister na HISTORY This Week Podcast: 27 Januarie 1945: "Oorleef Auschwitz"














Auschwitz: die grootste van die doodskampe

Auschwitz, die grootste en waarskynlik die berugste van al die Nazi-doodskampe, het in die lente van 1940 geopen. Sy eerste kommandant was Rudolf Höss (1900-47), wat voorheen gehelp het om die konsentrasiekamp Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg, Duitsland, te bestuur. Auschwitz was geleë op 'n voormalige militêre basis buite Oswiecim, 'n stad in die suide van Pole, naby Krakow, een van die land se grootste stede. Tydens die bou van die kamp is fabrieke in die buurt toegewys en almal wat in die omgewing woon, is met geweld uit hul huise gesit, wat deur die Nazi's gestamp is.

Auschwitz is oorspronklik bedoel as 'n konsentrasiekamp, ​​wat gebruik sou word as 'n aanhoudingsentrum vir die vele Poolse burgers wat gearresteer is nadat Duitsland die land in 1939 geannekseer het. Hierdie gevangenes het anti-Nazi-aktiviste, politici, versetlede en armaturen uit die kulturele en wetenskaplike gemeenskappe ingesluit. . Nadat Hitler se finale oplossing amptelike Nazi -beleid geword het, word Auschwitz egter as 'n ideale plek vir die doodskamp beskou. Eerstens was dit naby die sentrum van alle Duits-besette lande op die Europese vasteland. Vir die ander een was dit naby die spoorlyn wat gebruik is om aangehoudenes na die netwerk van Nazi -kampe te vervoer.

Nie almal wat by Auschwitz aankom, is egter onmiddellik uitgeroei nie. Diegene wat geskik is vir werk, is as slawe -arbeid aangewend vir die vervaardiging van ammunisie, sintetiese rubber en ander produkte wat as noodsaaklik beskou word vir Duitsland se pogings in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog.

Auschwitz en sy onderafdelings

Op sy hoogtepunt het Auschwitz uit verskeie afdelings bestaan. Die oorspronklike kamp, ​​bekend as Auschwitz I, het tussen 15 000 en 20 000 politieke gevangenes gehuisves. Diegene wat by die hoofhek ingaan, word begroet met 'n berugte en ironiese inskripsie: "Arbeit Macht Frei," of "Work Makes You Free."

Auschwitz II, geleë in die dorpie Birkenau, of Brzezinka, is in 1941 gebou in opdrag van Heinrich Himmler (1900-45), bevelvoerder van die "Schutzstaffel" (of Select Guard/Protection Squad, meer algemeen bekend as die SS) , wat alle Nazi -konsentrasiekampe en doodskampe bedryf het. Birkenau, die grootste van die Auschwitz -fasiliteite, kan ongeveer 90 000 gevangenes huisves.

Dit het ook 'n groep badhuise gehuisves waar ontelbare mense doodgegas is, en krematoriese oonde waar lyke verbrand is. Die meerderheid slagoffers van Auschwitz is in Birkenau dood. Meer as 40 kleiner fasiliteite, genaamd subkampe, het die landskap versprei en as slawe-arbeidskampe gedien. Die grootste van hierdie subkampe, Monowitz, ook bekend as Auschwitz III, het in 1942 begin werk en het ongeveer 10 000 gevangenes gehuisves.

Lewe en dood in Auschwitz

Teen die middel van 1942 was die meerderheid van die wat die Nazi's na Auschwitz gestuur het, Jode. By aankoms by die kamp is aangehoudenes deur Nazi -dokters ondersoek. Die gevangenes wat as ongeskik vir werk beskou word, insluitend jong kinders, bejaardes, swanger vroue en siekes, is onmiddellik beveel om te stort. Die badhuise waarheen hulle opgeruk het, was egter vermomde gaskamers. Toe hulle binne was, is die gevangenes blootgestel aan Zyklon-B gifgas. Persone wat as ongeskik vir werk gemerk is, is nooit amptelik as Auschwitz -gevangenes geregistreer nie. Om hierdie rede is dit onmoontlik om die aantal lewens wat in die kamp verloor is, te bereken.

Vir die gevangenes wat aanvanklik aan die gaskamers ontsnap het, sterf 'n onbepaalde aantal aan oorwerk, siektes, onvoldoende voeding of die daaglikse stryd om oorlewing in wrede lewensomstandighede. Willekeurige teregstellings, marteling en vergelding het daagliks voor die ander gevangenes plaasgevind.

Sommige Auschwitz -gevangenes is aan onmenslike mediese eksperimente onderwerp. Die hoof-oortreder van hierdie barbaarse navorsing was Josef Mengele (1911-79), 'n Duitse geneesheer wat in 1943 in Auschwitz begin werk het. Mengele, wat bekend staan ​​as die 'Engel van die dood', het 'n reeks eksperimente op gevangenes uitgevoer. Byvoorbeeld, in 'n poging om oogkleur te bestudeer, spuit hy serum in die oogballe van dosyne kinders, wat hulle ontsaglike pyn veroorsaak. Hy het ook chloroform in die harte van 'n tweeling ingespuit om te bepaal of albei broers en susters gelyktydig en op dieselfde manier sou sterf.

LEES MEER: gruwels van Auschwitz: die getalle agter die dodelikste konsentrasiekamp van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog

Bevryding van Auschwitz: 1945

Toe 1944 tot 'n einde kom en die nederlaag van Nazi -Duitsland deur die geallieerde magte seker lyk, begin die Auschwitz -kommandante bewyse van die gruwel wat daar plaasgevind het, vernietig. Geboue is afgebreek, opgeblaas of aan die brand gesteek en rekords is vernietig.

In Januarie 1945, toe die Sowjet -leër Krakow binnegaan, het die Duitsers beveel dat Auschwitz laat vaar word. Voor die einde van die maand, in wat bekend gestaan ​​het as die Auschwitz -doodsmars, het na raming 60 000 gevangenes, vergesel van Nazi -wagte, die kamp verlaat en moes hulle optrek na die Poolse dorpe Gliwice of Wodzislaw, ongeveer 30 kilometer daarvandaan . Tallose gevangenes sterf tydens hierdie proses; diegene wat die plekke bereik het, is per trein na die konsentrasiekampe in Duitsland gestuur.

Toe die Sowjet -leër Auschwitz op 27 Januarie binnekom, het hulle ongeveer 7 600 siek of uitgeteerde aangehoudenes gevind wat agtergebly het. Die bevryders het ook hope lyke ontdek, honderdduisende kledingstukke en paar skoene en sewe ton mensehare wat van gevangenes af geskeer is voor hulle gelikwideer is. Volgens sommige ramings sterf tussen 1,1 miljoen tot 1,5 miljoen mense, die oorgrote meerderheid Jode, tydens Auschwitz tydens sy werksjare. Na raming het 70 000 tot 80 000 Pole in die kamp omgekom, saam met 19 000 tot 20 000 Romas en kleiner getalle Sowjet -krygsgevangenes en ander individue.

LEES MEER: Die skokkende bevryding van Auschwitz: Sowjets 'weet niks' terwyl hulle nader kom

Auschwitz vandag

Vandag is Auschwitz oop vir die publiek as die Auschwitz-Birkenau-gedenkteken en -museum. Dit vertel die verhaal van die grootste massamoord in die geskiedenis en dien as herinnering aan die gruwels van volksmoord.
















Foto's van Auschwitz wat na die bevryding geneem is, onthul die gruweldade van die kamp


Auschwitz se ontstellende geskiedenis

Holocaust Remembrance Day herdenk Nazi -misdade wêreldwyd. Op 27 Januarie 1945 het die Sowjet -leër die gevangenes in Auschwitz bevry. Wat hulle gevind het, was ondenkbaar.

Meer as 25 miljoen mense het die gedenkplek in die voormalige Auschwitz -konsentrasiekamp in die suide van Pole besoek sedert die opening in 1947. Nou verwelkom die webwerf elke jaar meer as 2 miljoen besoekers van regoor die wêreld.

Geleë ongeveer 50 kilometer wes van Krakow, by die hekke van die klein stad Oswiecim, beslaan die voormalige konsentrasiekampkompleks 'n groot gebied tot 1945. Vandag is daar 'n staatsmuseum en gedenkteken op die terrein.

Benewens die Nazi's se sentrale uitwissingskamp, ​​het die kompleks uit drie hoofkampe en sub- en eksterne kampe van verskillende groottes bestaan. Dit was 'n industriële moordmasjien van ondenkbare omvang. Die gedenkteken en museum Auschwitz-Birkenau wat vandag besoek kan word beslaan 191 hektaar (472 hektaar).

Om die massamoorde te onthou, bly ons verantwoordelikheid vir die toekoms

Hier is 'n paar historiese feite en syfers wat verband hou met die term "Auschwitz":

1. Die stad Oswiecim (Auschwitz)

Lank voordat die naam deur die Duitse konsentrasiekamp bekend geword het, was Auschwitz (Pools: Oświęcim) 'n klein dorpie met 'n bedrywige geskiedenis.

Die naam van die stad, Oswiecim, is die eerste keer omstreeks 1200 genoem. In 1348 is dit opgeneem in die Heilige Romeinse Ryk, en Duits het die amptelike taal geword.

Soms behoort dit op ander tye tot die Oostenrykse gebied, die hertogdom Auschwitz was deel van die Koninkryk Bohemen of die Koninkryk Pruise - en is later weer na die koninkryk van Pole teruggekeer. En ná die Eerste Wêreldoorlog was dit deel van die pas gestigte Poolse staat.

Nadat die stad in 1900 met die spoorweë verbind is, het Oswiecim se ekonomie vinnig ontwikkel. Verblyf was nodig vir die vele seisoen- en trekarbeiders in die omliggende industriële gebiede van Bo -Silesië en Bohemen. Hulle is gehuisves in nuutgeboude baksteenhuise en houtkaserne. Die geboue sou later die basis vorm van die Auschwitz Nasionaal -Sosialistiese konsentrasiekamp.

Kort na die begin van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog in September 1939 is Oswiecim verower deur die Duitse Wehrmacht en geannekseer deur die Duitse Ryk. In 1940, onder leiding van Heinrich Himmler, kon die SS die kampgebied vinnig en sonder veel bouwerk omskep in 'n konsentrasiekamp, ​​die hoofkamp Auschwitz I. Die uitgestrekte gebied van die uitwissingskamp Auschwitz-Birkenau (Auschwitz II), bekend deur historiese lugfoto's van die Amerikaanse lugmag en die Britse lugmag, was 'n latere toevoeging.

2. Die Joodse bevolking

Voor die Tweede Wêreldoorlog was ongeveer die helfte van Oswiecim se 14 000 inwoners Joods. As gevolg van immigrasie het die Joodse gemeenskap aansienlik gegroei, die aantal etniese Duitsers in die stad was baie klein. Dit het skielik verander na die aanval deur Hitler se Wehrmacht op Pole op 1 September 1939 en die militêre besetting van die land.

Die Joodse bevolking het die Nazi's se rasse- "reinigingsbeleid" verplaas om plek te maak vir hervestigde Duitsers. Die oorblywende Poolse Jode woon aanvanklik beknop en afgesonder van die res van die bevolking in die ou stad Oświęcim. Vanaf 1940 is baie gedwing om as slawe -arbeiders vir die SS te werk in die konsentrasiekamp.

3. Die strategiese spilpunt

Die stad Oswiecim was toevallig op 'n strategies belangrike plek vir die Nazi's geleë, aangesien die treinstasie by die kruising was van die lyne van Praag, Wene, Berlyn, Warskou en die noordelike industriële gebiede van Silezië - perfekte toestande vir massavervoer van mense vanaf die sogenaamde "Altreich", of Duitsland se gebied binne die grense van 1937, soos beplan deur die SS en die owerhede van die Reich Main Security Office in Berlyn.

'N Oorsig van die groot konsentrasiekampkompleks

SS -luitenant -kolonel Adolf Eichmann was verantwoordelik vir die deportasie van mense na kampe in hierdie oostelike streke. Hy het die lêers voorberei vir die noodlottige "Wannsee-konferensie" wat op 20 Januarie 1942 gehou is. Hooggeplaaste SS- en Nazi-partyamptenare het by die Wannsee-villa vergader vir 'n vergadering wat deur die hoof van die Reich-hoofveiligheidskantoor, Reinhard Heydrich, begin is. Na slegs 90 minute het hulle hul moordende plan vir 'n 'finale oplossing vir die Europese Joodse vraag' bepaal. Al die lande waaruit Jode per trein gedeporteer moet word, is in die notule van die vergadering gelys.

4. Die konsentrasiekampstelsel

Na Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Flossenbürg, Mauthausen en die vrouekamp Ravensbrück was Auschwitz die sewende konsentrasiekamp wat geleidelik deur die Nazi's opgerig is - en verreweg die grootste. Die terrein aan die buitewyke van die klein Poolse stad Oświęcim was beplan as 'n plek vir kampe van verskillende groottes. Benewens die hoofkamp (Auschwitz I) en die groot uitwissingskamp van Birkenau (Auschwitz II), waar die krematoriums geleë was, was daar kleiner buitekampe sowel as die Buna- en Monowitz -arbeidskampe (Auschwitz III).

In ooreenstemming met die besluite wat tydens die Wannsee -konferensie geneem is, is Auschwitz in die lente van 1942 omskep in 'n sistematiese sterffabriek van ondenkbare omvang. kamp en was verantwoordelik vir die tegniese uitvoering van die massamoorde, totdat hy in November 1943 vervang is.

'N Kragtige wapen: 'n enkele blikkie Zyklon B was genoeg om meer as 1 000 mense dood te maak

5. Die SS -invloedsone

Teen die lente van 1942 was daar reeds 2,000 SS -veiligheidswagte in Auschwitz werksaam. Aanvanklik het slegs Duitse burgers van die ryk by die konsentrasiekamp gewerk, maar later was "Volksdeutsche" - burgers uit ander lande - ook onder die personeel.

Teen die einde van die somer in 1944 het meer as 4000 SS -lede in Auschwitz gedien. Dit het ook kampwagte, tiksters of verpleegsters ingesluit wat by die SS in diens was en nie kentekens gedra het nie.

Die SS beheer ook plaaslike nywerheidsondernemings en vakmanne wat, uit die uitbreiding van die kamp, ​​voordeel getrek het in die streek. Die sogenaamde SS-nedersetting het buite die kamp se grense ontwikkel en bied allerhande geriewe aan die inwoners.

6. Die doodsfabriek

In die lente van 1943 is ekstra oonde in die uitgebreide kompleks van Auschwitz-Birkenau in gebruik geneem. Die SS het hul funksionaliteit getoets op 'n groep vervoerde gevangenes: Na hul pynlike dood in 'n gaskamer vol Zyklon B is die lyke van 1100 mans, vroue en kinders verbrand en hul as versprei in omliggende mere - net soos die oorblyfsels van ander vermoorde konsentrasiekampgevangenes en gedeporteerdes sou wees.

Hierdie dam het die as van tienduisende vermoorde mense bevat

Die konstruksiebestuurder van die kamp, ​​SS -luitenant -kolonel Karl Bischoff, het aan Berlyn berig: "Van nou af kan 'n totaal van 4,756 liggame binne 24 uur veras word." 'N Driesporige spoorwegoprit is in Birkenau gebou met die doel om die keuse van afgevaardigdes by hul aankoms te bespoedig. Dit kan vandag nog op die gedenkplek gesien word. Meer as twee derdes van die nuwelinge is nie as gevangenes geregistreer nie en is onmiddellik na hul gaskamers en na hul dood gestuur.

Die laaste vervoer van Jode uit heel Europa het in die laat herfs van 1944 in Auschwitz aangekom. Onder die gedeporteerdes uit die besette Nederland was die 15-jarige Anne Frank. Haar dagboeke, wat toevallig bewaar is, dien as 'n blywende dokument van die vervolging van Jode deur die Nazi's.

7. Die aantal slagoffers

Berekeninge van die aantal slagoffers van die Holocaust wat in Auschwitz gesterf het, wissel nog steeds, aangesien nuwe besonderhede steeds elke jaar deur historiese en familie -argiewe aan die lig kom.

Alhoewel dit waarskynlik is dat ons nooit die presiese aantal slagoffers sal weet nie, word beraam dat meer as 5 miljoen mense na die Nazi -konsentrasiekampe gedeporteer is. Net baie min het oorleef.

Die berugte 'Judenrampe', die platform waar konvooie Jode aankom en waar gevangenes gekies is

Die name van meer as 60% van die 400 000 gevangenes wat in die voormalige Nazi -Duitse doodskamp Auschwitz geregistreer is, is vasgestel, volgens 'n navorsingsprojek in opdrag van die Auschwitz -gedenkteken wat in Desember 2019 gepubliseer is.

Die meer as 900 000 Jode wat gedeporteer is in massatransport van Europese gebiede wat deur Duitsland beset is, word nie in die databasis ingesluit nie en is onmiddellik vermoor in gaskamers nadat hulle by die kamp aangekom het sonder om geregistreer te word. Hulle identiteit kon nietemin bepaal word deur noukeurig bygehoude deportasielyste.

By hul aankoms in Auschwitz-Birkenau was die enigste wat geregistreer was diegene met 'n getatoeëerde gevangenenommer, diegene wat geskik geag is om as arbeiders in die kamp op die keuringsplatform, die sogenaamde "Judenrampe", gebruik te word. Die meeste mense, veral bejaardes, siekes, vroue en klein kinders, is direk en sonder vooraf registrasie in die gaskamers gedwing en vermoor.

Volgens die getalle van die Auschwitz-gedenkteken is meer as 1,1 miljoen mense in die uitwissingskamp Auschwitz-Birkenau dood. Negentig persent van die slagoffers was Jode - hoofsaaklik uit Hongarye, Pole, Italië, België, Frankryk, Nederland, Griekeland, Kroasië, die Sowjetunie, Oostenryk en Duitsland. Ander doelgerigte slagoffers van Nazi -moorde was Sinti en Roma, homoseksuele, Katolieke, Jehovah se Getuies en gestremdes, sowel as politieke teenstanders.

Die dagboek van 'n oorlewende Auschwitz


Auschwitz-Birkenau: Die evolusie van tatoeëring in die Auschwitz-konsentrasiekampkompleks

Vir baie is die blou lyne van 'n reeksnommer op 'n voorarm 'n onuitwisbare beeld van die Holocaust. Die tatoeëermerke van die oorlewendes simboliseer die wreedheid en die konsentrasiekampe en die poging van die Nazi's om hul slagoffers te ontmenslik. Die tatoeëermerke is ook 'n bewys van die veerkragtigheid van diegene wat dit dra. Ten spyte van die belangrikheid van die tatoeëermerke, as testament, simbool en historiese artefak, is daar egter min geleerdheid aan die onderwerp gewy. Daar bestaan ​​feitlik geen amptelike tydskrifdokumente met betrekking tot die praktyk nie. Dit wat ons weet, spruit uit anekdotiese bewyse in die kamprekords en die rekords van diegene wat in die kampe was.

Die Auschwitz -konsentrasiekampkompleks (insluitend Auschwitz 1, AuschwitzBirkenau en Monowitz) was die enigste plek waar gevangenes stelselmatig getatoeëer is tydens die Holocaust. Voordat daar getatoeëer is, was verskeie maniere om gevangenes te identifiseer, beide volgens nommer en volgens kategorie, die belangrikste metode. Toe hulle by die kamp aankom, is die reeksnommers aan gevangenes uitgereik wat aan hul tronkvorme vasgemaak is. Hierdie reeksnommers gaan meestal gepaard met verskillende vorms, simbole of letters wat die status, nasionaliteit of godsdiens van die gevangene identifiseer. Hierdie praktyk het voortgeduur, selfs nadat tatoeëring ingestel is.

Die volgorde waarvolgens reeksnommers uitgereik is, het mettertyd ontwikkel. Die nommeringskema is verdeel in & quotregular, & quot; AU, Z, EH, A en B series '. Die & quotregular & quot -reeks bestaan ​​uit 'n opeenvolgende numeriese reeks wat in die vroeë fase van die Auschwitz -konsentrasiekamp gebruik is om Pole, Jode en die meeste ander gevangenes (almal mans) te identifiseer. Hierdie reeks is van Mei 1940 tot Januarie 1945 gebruik, hoewel die bevolking wat dit geïdentifiseer het mettertyd ontwikkel het. Na die bekendstelling van ander kategorieë gevangenes in die kamp, ​​het die nommerskema ingewikkelder geword. Die & quotAU & quot - reeks dui Sowjet -krygsgevangenes aan, terwyl die & quotZ & quot - reeks (met die & quotZ & quot staan ​​vir die Duitse woord vir Gypsy, Zigeuner) die Romany aandui. Hierdie identifiserende letters het die getatoeëerde reeksnommers voorafgegaan nadat dit ingestel is. "EH" aangewese gevangenes wat gestuur is vir "onderrig"Erziehungsh & aumlftlinge). Hierdie gevangenes het óf geweier om met dwangarbeid te werk óf is daarvan beskuldig dat hulle op 'n manier werk wat nie bevredigend was nie. Hulle is na die konsentrasiekampe gestuur of na spesiale & quotLabor Education Camps & quot (Arbeitserziehungslager) vir 'n bepaalde tydperk van hoogstens 56 dae. Aanvanklik behoort hul reeksnommers tot die gewone reeks in Februarie 1942, 'n aparte reeks is vir die EH -kategorie ingestel en hul ou registrasienommers is heraangewys. & Sup1

Vroue is nie uit dieselfde reeks as die mans uitgereik nie. Die eerste vroulike gevangenes het in Maart 1942 aangekom, en hulle het nommers in 'n nuwe "gewone" reeks ontvang, net soos die mans. Namate die aantal vroulike gevangenes wat na die kamp gebring is, toegeneem het, is nuwe nommerreekse in die onderskeie kategorieë begin.

In Mei 1944 is die getalle in die & quotA & quot -reeks en die & quotB & quot -reeks eers aan Joodse gevangenes uitgereik, begin met die mans op 13 Mei en die vroue op 16 Mei. Die & quotA & quot -reeks sou voltooi word met 20,000, maar 'n fout het daartoe gelei dat die vroue tot 25,378 getel is voordat die & quotB & quot -reeks begin het. Die bedoeling was om deur die hele alfabet te werk, met 20 000 nommers in elke letterreeks. In elke reeks het mans en vroue hul eie aparte numeriese reekse gehad, skynbaar met nommer 1.

Daar was egter baie uitsonderings op hierdie reël en die bestaande inligting oor reeksnommers is maar een van die instrumente om die aantal gevangenes wat deur die Auschwitz -kampkompleks gekom het, te bepaal. Gevangenes wat vir onmiddellike uitwissing gekies is, het feitlik nooit getalle ontvang nie, en baie Sowjet -krygsgevangenes en polisiegevangenes (Polizeih & aumlftlinge)* uit die Myslowice -gevangenis gestuur weens oorbevolking en sup2 is nie geregistreer nie.

Daar word algemeen aanvaar dat die tatoeëring van gevangenes begin het met die instroming van Sowjet-gevangenes in 1941 in Auschwitz. Ongeveer 12 000 Sowjet-krygsgevangenes is na die konsentrasiekampkompleks in Auschwitz gebring en geregistreer. Die meeste het in Oktober 1941 vanaf Stalag 308 aangekom. in Neuhammer. Hulle het hul weermaguniforms behou, wat met 'n streep geverf is en die letters US (Sowjetunie) in olieverf. In November het 'n spesiale kommissie onder leiding van die hoof van die Kattowitz Gestapo, dr Rudolf Mildner, na Auschwitz gekom. Na aanleiding van die riglyne van 'n operasionele bevel van 17 Julie 1941, is die Sowjet -gevangenes in die oorlog verdeel in groepe wat beskryf word as 'fanatiese kommunis', 'polities verdag', 'nie polities verdag' of 'geskik vir heropvoeding.' Na 'n maand se werk het die kommissie ongeveer 300 & quotfanatiese kommuniste. & Sup3 Diegene wat as sodanig aangedui is, is getatoeëer deur middel van 'n metaalplaat met verwisselbare naalde daaraan. Die tatoeëermerk lees AU (vir Auschwitz) gevolg deur 'n nommer. Ander Sowjet -gevangenes van die oorlog het hul identifikasienommers met onuitwisbare ink op hul kiste geskryf, maar dit het te vinnig verdwyn. 4 So is die tatoeëring van die meeste Sowjet -gevangenes uit die oorlog uiteindelik geïmplementeer. Omvangryke bewyse dui aan dat tatoeëring van gevangenes nie in 1941 stelselmatig in Auschwitz geïmplementeer is nie.

Op 11 November 1941, die Poolse nasionale vakansiedag, het die kampowerhede 151 gevangenes in Auschwitz tereggestel. Voor die teregstelling was die nommer van die gevangene op sy bors (as hy van naby geskiet sou word) of op sy been (as hy deur die vuurpeloton geskiet sou word) geskryf. Die sogenaamde kamp -siekeboeg het ook die gewoonte aangeneem om 'n gevangene se nommer op sy bors te skryf. 5

Namate die aantal gevangenes wat na die uitbreidende Auschwitz -kompleks uitgebrei is, toegeneem het, het die sterftesyfer ook toegeneem. Maar as 'n lyk van sy uniform geskei word, is identifikasie alles behalwe onmoontlik gemaak. Aangesien dikwels honderde gevangenes per dag sterf, was ander identifikasiemetodes nodig. In Birkenau is die metode wat gebruik is om die Sowjet -krygsgevangenes te tatoeëer, geïmplementeer vir uitgeteerde gevangenes wie se dood op hande was, en die tatoeëermerke is later met pen en ink op die linkerarm se onderarm gemaak. Teen 1942 het Jode die oorheersende groep geword wat in Auschwitz verteenwoordig is. Hulle is getatoeëer op grond van getalle in die gewone reekse totdat 1944 hul getalle voorafgegaan is deur 'n driehoek, waarskynlik om hulle as Jode te identifiseer.

Teen die lente van 1943 is die meeste gevangenes getatoeëer, selfs diegene wat voorheen geregistreer was. Daar was egter noemenswaardige uitsonderings. Etniese Duitsers, heropvoedingsgevangenes, polisiegevangenes en gevangenes wat vir onmiddellike uitwissing gekies is, is nie getatoeëer nie.

Alhoewel dit nie met absolute sekerheid bepaal kan word nie, blyk dit dat tatoeëring hoofsaaklik geïmplementeer is om te identifiseer of die praktyk in die geval van dood of ontsnapping tot die laaste dae van Auschwitz voortgesit is.

*Polizeih & aumlftlinge is 'n algemene term wat gebruik kan word om iemand aan te dui wat deur die Gestapo gearresteer is. Hierdie gevangenes was moontlik sogenaamde loopbaanmisdadigers (Befristeter Vorbeugungsh & aumlftlinge, ook bekend in kampjargon as Berufsverbrecher), beskermende gevangenes (Schutzh & aumlfilinge), of heropvoedingsgevangenes (Erziehungsh & aumlftlinge).
& sup1Piper, Franciszek en Teresa & yenwiebocka, reds. (trans. Douglas Selvage), Auschwitz Nazi Death Camp (O & yenwiecim The AuschwitzBirkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, 1996), p. 62.
& sup2lbid., p. 66.
& sup3Czech, Danuta, Auschwitz Chronicle 19391945 (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1990), p. 102.
4 Klarsfeld, Serge, red., Les matricules tatoues des camps d'AuschwitzBirkenau (Beate Klarsfeld Foundation), p. 27.
5 Council for the Protection of Monuments of Struggle and Martyrdom (trans. Lain W. M. Taylor), Auschwitz: Nazi Extermination Camp (Warschau: Interpress, 1985), p. 54.

Laai ons mobiele app af vir onmiddellike toegang tot die Joodse virtuele biblioteek


Auschwitz-Birkenau: Geskiedenis en oorsig

Auschwitz-Birkenau is die algemene term vir die netwerk van Nazi-konsentrasie- en arbeidskampe, wat naby die Poolse stad Oswiecim gestig is. Saam was hierdie kompleks die grootste van al die Nazi -doodskampe in Europa en kon dit op 'n gegewe tydstip meer as 150 000 gevangenes huisves.

Die kompleks, wat in drie hoofgebiede verdeel is, is in 1940 deur die Nazi's gestig en was in gebruik tot die bevryding van die Geallieerde in 1945. Geskiedkundiges en ontleders skat die aantal mense wat in Auschwitz vermoor is, tussen 2,1 miljoen en 4 miljoen, waarvan die die oorgrote meerderheid was Jode. Die meeste gevangenes wat in Auschwitz aangehou is, is in gaskamers dood, hoewel baie gesterf het aan hongersnood, dwangarbeid, siektes, skietgroepe en gruwelike mediese eksperimente.

Vandag het die woord Auschwitz sinoniem geword met terreur, volksmoord en die Holocaust. Die terrein, hoewel dit gedeeltelik vernietig is deur die terugtrekkende Nazi's in 1945, is opgerig as 'n museum om toekomstige geslagte te help om die gruweldade wat binne die heinings gepleeg is, te begryp. Teen 2011 het meer as 30 miljoen mense die kamp besoek, en gedurende 2014 het 'n rekordgetal van 1,5 miljoen mense die Auschwitz -kompleks en museum besoek. Woordvoerders van die museum het gesê dat van Januarie tot April 2015 meer as 250 000 mense Auschwitz besoek het, wat 'n toename van 40% was in vergelyking met die reeds groot getalle van die vorige jaar. Die owerhede wat die webwerf behartig het, het mense versoek om vooraf hul besoek aan Auschwitz aanlyn te bespreek om te verhoed dat hulle mense moet wegwys.

In Junie 2016 herontdek die Auschwitz-Birkenau-museum in die Poolse stad Oswiecim meer as 16 000 persoonlike items wat aan die slagoffers van Auschwitz-Birkenau behoort het, wat in 1968 verlore gegaan het. Die items is oorspronklik in 1967 ontdek deur argeoloë wat die konsentrasiekampterrein opgegrawe het , en is in 48 kartondose in die Poolse Akademie vir Wetenskappe in Warskou geplaas voordat dit verlore gegaan het weens 'n antisemitiese kommunistiese regime wat in 1968 aan bewind gekom het.

Die oprigting van die kamp

In April 1940 het Rudolph H & oumlss, wat die eerste kommandant van Auschwitz geword het, die Sileziese stad Oswiecim in Pole geïdentifiseer as 'n moontlike plek vir 'n konsentrasiekamp. Aanvanklik was die kamp bedoel om Pole te intimideer om te verhoed dat hulle teen die Duitse bewind protesteer en as gevangenis dien vir diegene wat wel weerstand gebied het. Dit word ook beskou as 'n hoeksteen van die beleid om Opper-Silezië, wat vroeër 'n Duitse streek was, te herkoloniseer met die Ariërs. & Rdquo Toe die planne vir die kamp goedgekeur is, verander die Nazi's en die quosos die naam van die gebied in Auschwitz.

Op 27 April 1940 beveel Heinrich Himmler die bou van die kamp.

In Mei 1940 is Pole uit die kaserne gesit (die meeste is tereggestel), en 'n werkspan wat uit konsentrasiekampgevangenes bestaan, is uit Sachsenhausen gestuur. Nog 300 Jode uit die groot Joodse gemeenskap van Oswiecim is ook in diens geneem.

Op 20 Mei 1940 het die eerste gevangenes se eerste vervoer van gevangenes, byna alle Poolse burgers, aangekom en die SS -administrasie en personeel is gevestig. Op 1 Maart 1941 was die kampbevolking 10 900. Die kamp het baie vinnig 'n reputasie ontwikkel vir marteling en massa -skietery.


Lyke in 'n blok Auschwitz

Uitbreiding van Auschwitz

In Maart 1941 besoek Himmler Auschwitz en beveel die uitbreiding daarvan om 30 000 gevangenes te huisves. Die ligging van die kamp, ​​feitlik in die middel van die Duits-besette Europa, en die gerieflike vervoersverbindings en die nabyheid aan spoorlyne was die belangrikste gedagte agter die Nazi-plan om Auschwitz te vergroot en mense van hieroor Europa te begin deporteer.

Op die oomblik was slegs die hoofkamp, ​​later bekend as Auschwitz I, gevestig. Himmler het beveel dat 'n tweede kamp vir 100,000 gevangenes op die plek van die dorpie Brzezinka, ongeveer twee kilometer van die hoofkamp, ​​opgerig moet word. Hierdie tweede kamp, ​​nou bekend as Birkenau of Auschwitz II, was aanvanklik bedoel om gevul te word met gevange Russiese krygsgevangenes wat die slawe -arbeid sou voorsien om die SS & ldquoutopia & rdquo in Opper -Silesië te bou. Die chemiese reus I G Farben het 'n belangstelling getoon om hierdie arbeidsmag te benut, en uitgebreide bouwerk het in Oktober 1941 begin onder haglike omstandighede en met groot lewensverlies. Ongeveer 10 000 Russiese krygsgevangenes is in hierdie proses dood. Die grootste deel van die uitwissingsapparaat is uiteindelik in die Birkenau -kamp gebou en die meeste slagoffers is hier vermoor.

SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Fritz Hartjenstein was kommandant van Birkenau vanaf 22 November 1943 tot 8 Mei 1944. Hy word gevolg deur SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Josef Kramer van 8 Mei 1944 tot 25 November 1944.

More than 40 sub-camps, exploiting the prisoners as slave laborers, were also founded, mainly as various sorts of German industrial plants and farms, between 1942 and 1944. The largest of them was called Buna (Monowitz, with ten thousand prisoners) and was opened by the camp administration in 1942 on the grounds of the Buna-Werke synthetic rubber and fuel plant, six kilometers from the Auschwitz camp. The factory was built during the war by the German IG Farbenindustrie cartel, and the SS supplied prisoner labor. On November 1943, the Buna sub-camp became the seat of the commandant (SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Heinrich Schwarz) of the third part of the camp, Auschwitz III, to which some other Auschwitz sub-camps were subordinated.

The Germans isolated all the camps and sub-camps from the outside world and surrounded them with barbed wire fencing. All contact with the outside world was forbidden. However, the area administered by the commandant and patrolled by the SS camp garrison went beyond the grounds enclosed by barbed wire. It included an additional area of approximately 40 square kilometers (the so-called &ldquoInteressengebiet&rdquo - the interest zone), which lay around the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau camps.

With the additions, the main camp population grew from 18,000 in December 1942 to more than 30,000 in March 1943.

In March 1942, a women&rsquos camp was established at Auschwitz with 6,000 inmates and in August it was moved to Birkenau. By January 1944, 27,000 women were living in Birkenau, in section B1a, in separated quarters.

In February 1943, a section for Gypsies was also established at Birkenau, called camp BIIe, and in September 1943 an area was set aside for Czech Jews deported from Theresienstadt, and was so-called the &ldquoFamily Camp,&rdquo or BIIb.

The gas chambers and crematoria at Birkenau were opened in March 1943.

Beginning Stages of the Final Solution

Beginning in 1942, Auschwitz began to function in a way different than its original intent.

By late 1941, Himmler had briefed Commandant Höss about the &ldquoFinal Solution&ldquo and by the following year Auschwitz-Birkenau became the center of the mass destruction of the European Jews.

Before beginning Jewish exterminations, though, the Nazi&rsquos used the Soviet POWs at the Auschwitz camp in trials of the poison gas Zyklon-B, produced by the German company &ldquoDegesch&rdquo (Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Schädlingsbekämpfung), which was marked as the best way to kill many people at once. The POWs were gassed in underground cells in Block 11, the so called &ldquoDeath Block,&rdquo and following these trials, one gas chamber was setup just outside the main camp and two temporary gas chambers were opened at Birkenau.

The Nazis marked all the Jews living in Europe for total extermination, regardless of their age, sex, occupation, citizenship, or political views. They were killed for one reason, and one reason alone &ndash because they were Jews. At Auschwitz-Birkenau, the &ldquoFinal Solution&ldquo was pursued with Nazi-like efficiency:

When a train carrying Jewish prisoners arrived &ldquoselections&rdquo would be conducted on the railroad platform, or ramp. Newly arrived persons classified by the SS physicians as unfit for labor were sent to the gas chambers: these included the ill, the elderly, pregnant women and children. In most cases, 70-75% of each transport was sent to immediate death. These people were not entered in the camp records that is, they received no serial numbers and were not registered, and therefore it is possible only to estimate the total number of victims.

Those deemed fit enough for slave labor were then immediately registered, tattooed with a serial number, undressed, deloused, had their body hair shaven off, showered while their clothes were disinfected with Zyklon-B gas, and entered the camp under the infamous gateway inscribed &ldquoArbeit Macht Frei&rdquo (&ldquoLabor will set you free&rdquo). Of approximately 2.5 million people who were deported to Auschwitz, 405,000 were given prisoner status and serial numbers. Of these, approximately 50% were Jews and 50% were Poles and other nationalities.

Camp Reorganization & Worsening Conditions

In Autumn 1943, the camp administration was reorganized following a corruption scandal. Höss, who served as commandant from May 4, 1940 until November 10, 1943, was succeeded by SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Arthur Liebehenschel. The third commandant, SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Richard Baer took over from May 11, 1944, until January 1945.

By the end of 1943, the prisoner population of Auschwitz main camp, Birkenau, Monowitz and other subcamps was over 80,000: 18,437 in the main camp, 49,114 in Birkenau, and 13,288 at Monowitz where I G Farben had its synthetic rubber plant. Up to 50,000 prisoners were scattered around 51 subcamps such as Rajsko, an experimental agricultural station, and Gleiwitz, a coal mine (see The List of the Camps for a complete list of those subcamps). Barracks at Auschwitz designed for 700 prisoners held 1,200.

The situation in the subcamps was often even worse than in the main camps. In mid-1944, Auschwitz was designated a SS-run security area of over 40 square miles. By August 1944, the camp population reached 105,168. The last roll-call on January 18th, 1945, showed 64,000 inmates.

During its history, the prison population of Auschwitz changed composition significantly. At first, its inmates were almost entirely Polish. From April 1940 to March 1942, on about 27,000 inmates, 30 percent were Poles and 57 percent were Jews. From March 1942 to March 1943 of 162,000 inmates, 60 percent were Jews. From May 15 to July 9, 1944, 426,000 Hungarian Jews, the most deported from any country, were sent to Auschwitz

Birkenau Becomes Center of Jewish Extermination


Gas Chamber door at Birkenau
Lebensgefhar (danger of death)

A parallel system to the main camp in Auschwitz began to operate at the Birkenau camp by 1942. The exception, though, was that most &ldquoshowers&rdquo used to delouse the incoming prisoners proved to be gas chambers. At Birkenau, only about 10 percent of Jewish transports were registered, disinfected, shaven and showered in the &ldquocentral sauna&rdquo before being assigned barracks as opposed to being sent directly to the death chambers.

In the spring of 1942, two provisional gas chambers at Birkenau were constructed out of peasant huts, known as the &ldquobunkers.&rdquo

The first &ldquobunker,&rdquo with two sealed rooms, operated from January 1942 to the end of that year. The second, with four airtight rooms, became redundant in the spring of 1943, but remained standing and was used again in the autumn of 1944 when extra &ldquocapacity&rdquo was needed for the murder of Hungarian Jews and the liquidation of the ghettos. The second measured about 1.134 square feet. The victims murdered in the &ldquobunkers&rdquo were first obliged to undress in temporary wooden barracks erected nearby. Their bodies were taken out of the gas chambers and pushed to pits where they were burned in the open.

Between January 1942 and March 1943, 175,000 Jews were gassed to death here, of whom 105,000 were killed from January to March 1943.

Up to this point, though, Auschwitz-Birkenau accounted for &ldquoonly&rdquo 11 percent of the victims of the &ldquoFinal Solution.&rdquo In August 1942, however, construction began on four large-scale gassing facilities. It appears from the plans that the first two gas chambers were adapted from mortuaries which, with the huge crematoria attached to them, were initially intended to cope with mortalities amongst the slave labor force in the camp, now approaching 100,000 and subject to a horrifying death rate. But from the autumn of 1942, it seems clear that the SS planners and civilian contractors were intending to build a mass-murder plant.


Main Gate at Birkenau (circa 1945)

The twin pairs of gas chambers were numbered II and III, and IV and V. The first opened on March 31, 1943, the last on April 4, 1943. The total area of the gas chambers was 2,255 square meters the capacity of these crematoria was 4,420 people. Those selected to die were undressed in the undressing room and then pushed into the gas chambers.

It only took about 20 minutes for all the people inside to die.

In chambers II and III, the killings took place in underground rooms, and the corpses were carried to the five ovens by an electrically operated lift. Before cremation gold teeth and any other valuables, such as rings, were removed from the corpses. In IV and V the gas chambers and ovens were on the same level, but the ovens were so poorly built, and the usage was so great that they repeatedly malfunctioned and had to be abandoned. The corpses were finally burned outside, in the open, as in 1943. Jewish Sonderkommandos worked the crematoria under SS supervision.

Initially the new facilities were &ldquounderutilized.&rdquo From April 1943 to March 1944, &ldquoonly&rdquo 160,000 Jews were killed at Birkenau.

But, in May 1944, a railroad spur line was built right into the camp to accelerate and simplify the handling of the tens of thousands of Hungarian and other Jews deported in the spring and summer of 1944. From then to November 1944, when all the other death camps had been abandoned, Birkenau surpassed all previous records for mass killing. The Hungarian deportations and the liquidation of the remaining Polish ghettos, such as Lodz, resulted in the gassing of 585,000 Jews. This period made Auschwitz-Birkenau into the most notorious killing site of all time.


Liberation of Auschwitz: a hangar containing hundreds of shoes and clothes

Weerstand

Remarkably, there were instances of individual resistance and collective efforts at fighting back inside Auschwitz. Poles, Communists and other national groups established networks in the main camp. Some Jews assaulted Nazi guards, even at the entrance to the gas chambers. In October 1944, the Sonderkommando crew at crematoria IV revolted and destroyed the crematoria. It was never used again.

Fewer than 200 Jews escaped from the camps. Herman Shine, one of the last survivors to have escaped Auschwitz, died in July 2018. He was born in Berlin to a Polish father and they were arrested in that city in 1939. Along with 1,700 other Polish Jews, they were deported to Sachsenhausen. To survive, Shine claimed to be a roofer and learned how to build roofs before being transferred to Auschwitz in 1942.

While working at an Auschwitz satellite forced labor camp in Gleiwitz, Shine met a Jewish girl named Marianne who worked in the camp and could return to her home at night.

Another prisoner, Max Drimmer, devised an escape plan and brought it to Shine. Thanks to the help of a Polish partisan, they managed to break out of Auschwitz and hide on the Pole&rsquos farm for three months. Later, they hid in the home of Marianne&rsquos family. Both men immigrated to the United States and Shine married Marianne. Their story was told in the documentary, &ldquoEscape from Auschwitz: Portrait of a Friendship.&rdquo

Death March & Allied Liberation

In November of 1944, in the face of the approaching allied Red Army, Himmler ordered gassings to stop and for a &ldquoclean-up&rdquo operation to be put in place to conceal traces of the mass murder and other crimes that they had committed. The Nazi&rsquos destroyed documents and dismantled, burned down or blew up most buildings.

The orders for the final evacuation and liquidation of the camp were issued in mid-January 1945. The Germans left behind in the main Auschwitz camp, Birkenau and in Monowitz about 7,000 sick or incapacitated who they did not expect would live for long the rest, approximately 58,000 people, were evacuated by foot into the depths of the Third Reich.

Those prisoners capable, began forcibly marching just as Soviet soldiers were liberating Cracow, some 60 kilometers from the camp. In marching columns escorted by heavily armed SS guards, these 58,000 men and women prisoners were led out of Auschwitz from January 17-21. Many prisoners lost their lives during this tragic evacuation, known as the Death March.

Lt.-Col. Anatoly Shapiro, a Ukrainian Jew, commanded the Red Army&rsquos 1085 th &lsquoTarnopol&rsquo Rifle Regiment that liberated Auschwitz on January 27, 1945. The soldiers found about 650 corpses inside the barracks and near them &mdash mostly women who died of exhaustion or were shot by the SS the night before. Altogether, the Soviet troops found at least 1,200 emaciated survivors in Auschwitz and another 5,800 at Birkenau. At least 700 children and youth prisoners, including about 500 under 15, were alive when the Soviet soldiers arrived. More than half of these children were Jewish.

The liberators fed the survivors but most could not eat because they were too malnourished. Ultimately, another soldier said the Red Army managed to save 2,819 inmates in Red Army Military Hospital 2962.

The soldiers also found warehouses containing 836,525 items of women clothing, 348,820 items of men clothing, 43,525 pairs of shoes (a total of 110,000 was ultimately discovered) and vast numbers of toothbrushes, glasses and other personal effects. They also found 460 artificial limbs and seven tons of human hair shaved from Jews before they were murdered. The human hairs were used by the company &ldquoAlex Zink&rdquo (located in Bavaria) for confection of cloth. This company was paying the Nazi&rsquos 50 pfennig per kilo of human hair.

Of the 1.3 million people sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, nearly 1,095,000 were Jews, including 232,000 children (mostly Jews). A total of 1.1 million prisoners, or about 85 percent of people sent to Auschwitz, were murdered in the camp including 960,000 were Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, and 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war.

Of those who received numbers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, only 65,000 survived. It is estimated that only about 200,000 people who passed through the Auschwitz camps survived. Michael Bornstein was one of the lucky ones. Decades after the war, he learned from Auschwitz documents kept in Israel that he had survived because he was sick, and the Nazis left him behind when they evacuated the camp. He said that he was one of only 52 children under the age of eight who lived.

A total of 673 members of the camp staff were charged with war crimes.

Bronne: The Forgotten Camps.
Memorial and Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Haaretz, (April 22, 2015).
Agencja Gazeta, &ldquoAuschwitz museum recovers thousands of long-lost items after 50 years,&rdquo Reuters (June 8, 2016).
Michael Scotto, After Seeing Himself in Old Newsreel Footage, Manhattan Man Discovers How He Survived Holocaust, Spectrum News, (April 3, 2017).
&ldquoAuschwitz hero,&rdquo Jerusalem verslag, (February 5, 2018).
&ldquoHerman Shine, one of the last survivors to have escaped Auschwitz, dies at 96,&rdquo JTA, (July 24, 2018).
Natasha Frost, &ldquoHorrors of Auschwitz: The Numbers Behind WWII's Deadliest Concentration Camp,&rdquo History, (January 23, 2020).
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, &ldquoAuschwitz,&rdquo Holocaust Encyclopedia.

Laai ons mobiele app af vir onmiddellike toegang tot die Joodse virtuele biblioteek


Concentration camp

Ons redakteurs gaan na wat u ingedien het, en bepaal of hulle die artikel moet hersien.

Concentration camp, internment centre for political prisoners and members of national or minority groups who are confined for reasons of state security, exploitation, or punishment, usually by executive decree or military order. Persons are placed in such camps often on the basis of identification with a particular ethnic or political group rather than as individuals and without benefit either of indictment or fair trial. Concentration camps are to be distinguished from prisons interning persons lawfully convicted of civil crimes and from prisoner-of-war camps in which captured military personnel are held under the laws of war. They are also to be distinguished from refugee camps or detention and relocation centres for the temporary accommodation of large numbers of displaced persons.

During war, civilians have been concentrated in camps to prevent them from engaging in guerrilla warfare or providing aid to enemy forces or simply as a means of terrorizing the populace into submission. During the South African War (1899–1902) the British confined noncombatants of the republics of Transvaal and Cape Colony in concentration camps. Another instance of interning noncombatant civilians occurred shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between Japan and the United States (December 7, 1941), when more than 100,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were taken into custody and placed in camps in the interior.

Political concentration camps instituted primarily to reinforce the state’s control have been established in various forms under many totalitarian regimes—most extensively in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. To a considerable extent, the camps served as the special prisons of the secret police. Nazi concentration camps were under the administration of the SS forced-labour camps of the Soviet Union were operated by a succession of organizations beginning in 1917 with the Cheka and ending in the early 1990s with the KGB.

The first German concentration camps were established in 1933 for the confinement of opponents of the Nazi Party—Communists and Social Democrats. Political opposition soon was enlarged to include minority groups, chiefly Jews, but by the end of World War II many Roma, homosexuals, and anti-Nazi civilians from the occupied territories had also been liquidated. After the outbreak of World War II the camp inmates were used as a supplementary labour supply, and such camps mushroomed throughout Europe. Inmates were required to work for their wages in food those unable to work usually died of starvation, and those who did not starve often died of overwork. The most shocking extension of this system was the establishment after 1940 of extermination centres, or “death camps.” They were located primarily in Poland, which Adolf Hitler had selected as the setting for his “final solution” to the “Jewish problem.” The most notorious were Auschwitz, Majdanek, and Treblinka. (Sien extermination camp.) At some camps, notably Buchenwald, medical experimentation was conducted. New toxins and antitoxins were tried out, new surgical techniques devised, and studies made of the effects of artificially induced diseases, all by experimenting on living human beings.

In the Soviet Union by 1922 there were 23 concentration camps for the incarceration of persons accused of political offenses as well as criminal offenses. Many corrective labour camps were established in northern Russia and Siberia, especially during the First Five-Year Plan, 1928–32, when millions of rich peasants were driven from their farms under the collectivization program. The Stalinist purges of 1936–38 brought additional millions into the camps—said to be essentially institutions of slavery.

The Soviet occupation of eastern Poland in 1939 and the absorption of the Baltic states in 1940 led to the incarceration of large numbers of non-Soviet citizens. Following the outbreak of war with Germany in 1941, the camps received Axis prisoners of war and Soviet nationals accused of collaboration with the enemy. After the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, many prisoners were released and the number of camps was drastically reduced.Sien ookGulag.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Michael Ray, Editor.


A brief history of Auschwitz

Auschwitz was the most deadly site of the Holocaust and witnessed the largest single mass murder in the history the world. Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation, expert Laurence Rees explores its history and considers its significance today…

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Published: January 22, 2020 at 5:21 pm

Where was Auschwitz and why was it created?

Auschwitz was in southern Poland, just over 30 miles west of Krakow. It was in an area of Poland that the Germans decided to incorporate into the Reich. As part of this process of ‘Germanization’ they wanted ethnic Germans to populate the area, but because this was a heavily industrialised part of Poland – the major manufacturing centre of Katowice is less than 20 miles to the north west – the Germans needed substantial numbers of Poles to remain, in order work in the factories and coal mines.

The original concentration camp at Auschwitz was designed to strike terror into the hearts of these indigenous Poles. If they caused any trouble for the Germans – or even looked as if they might possibly cause trouble – then they risked being shipped to Auschwitz.

The first prisoners arrived in June 1940, and until well into 1942 the vast majority of inmates at the camp were Polish political prisoners. Though this was not yet a place of mass extermination, huge numbers of these Poles perished in the camp from various kinds of ill treatment – including starvation, beatings and execution. So much so that more than half the 23,000 Poles first sent to Auschwitz were dead within 20 months.

Why was it called Auschwitz?

It was called Auschwitz because that was the German name for the Polish town of Oświęcim, where the camp was built. The original camp – the ‘main’ camp – was established in a group of buildings that had been Polish army barracks, around a horse-breaking yard, not far from the centre of Oświęcim along the bank of the Sola river.

Who was in charge at Auschwitz?

Rudolf Hoess (Höss) was the commandant for most of the time that Auschwitz existed. He was 39 years old when he was first appointed to the job in spring 1940. A committed Nazi, he had been trained at the concentration camp in Dachau, north of Munich. Though utterly heartless when it came to the suffering of the inmates – and responsible for overseeing the murder of more than a million people – his personality was far from the slavering, red-faced caricature of the SS guard. Instead, his demeanor, according to an American lawyer who interrogated him after the war, was that of a “normal person, like a grocery clerk”.

Who was sent to Auschwitz? When did people start being murdered in gas chambers?

Initially, as discussed above, the inmates were mostly Polish political prisoners, but that began to change when Auschwitz started to take Soviet Prisoners after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Many of these prisoners in the summer of 1941 were commissars – Soviet Political Officers – and they had been sent to the camp to be worked to death. Any commissar captured in combat by the Germans was to be murdered, and those who were not detected as commissars on the front line were subsequently sent to concentration camps like Auschwitz to be killed.

Then, in the autumn of 1941, construction began on a vast new camp, a mile and a half away from Auschwitz main camp, at a place the Poles called Brzezinka and the Germans, Birkenau. Auschwitz Birkenau was destined to play a key role in the extermination of the Jews. But that was not why the camp was built. Instead it was supposed to hold large numbers of Soviet Prisoners of War (PoW)– not the commissars, who were still to be killed, but ordinary soldiers. Some 10,000 Soviet PoWs arrived that autumn to build the camp, but conditions were so horrific that by the spring of 1941, 9,000 were dead.

Meantime, in Auschwitz main camp the SS were looking for a more efficient method of killing unwanted prisoners than working them to death. Hoess’s deputy experimented with a powerful insecticide called Zyklon B, used for killing lice, and discovered that releasing crystals of Zyklon B in a sealed, confined area would also kill human beings. During the second half of 1941, in a series of experiments conducted on sick prisoners and Soviet PoWs, the SS tested the power of this new method of murder. Initially, gassing experiments were conducted in the basement of one of the prison blocks, but the SS soon discovered that a sealed room in the crematorium of the main camp was a more effective place to kill people. By the early part of 1942, Jews from the local area no longer thought fit to work had also been gassed in this new killing chamber.

Meantime, 1942 also brought a change in function for the new camp at Auschwitz Birkenau. The Soviet PoWs were needed elsewhere for work, and so the Nazis decided that Birkenau could be a place to send Jews from all over Europe. With the development of the Nazis’ so called ‘Final Solution’ – the extermination of the Jews – Birkenau found its infamous and murderous purpose.

From 1942 until the liberation of Auschwitz in January 1945, Jews from a variety of countries, starting with Slovakia, suffered and died in Birkenau. Initially the Jews were murdered in make-shift gas chambers in converted peasant cottages at Birkenau – this was considered a more secluded killing location than the crematoria in the main camp. But in 1943 the first of four brick-built gas chamber/crematoria complexes opened at Auschwitz Birkenau. These killing factories streamlined the murder process still further.

Did Auschwitz have the same function as other death camps?

Auschwitz had an unusual role in the Nazi system: it was both a death camp and a concentration camp. There is often confusion about the contrasting roles of each today. A concentration camp, like Dachau, had existed since 1933 and its function was not a secret. It was a place that those the Nazis considered their enemies were sent for a brutal process of ‘re-education’, in the course of which a number were killed. But though the treatment of prisoners in these concentration camps was appalling, the majority of the inmates in the pre-war camps survived the horrendous experience.

Death camps, on the other hand, only came into existence during the Second World War and their location and function was a state secret. Jews were sent there to be murdered immediately on arrival – only a tiny number were selected to work within the camp and assist the SS with tasks like the sorting of the belongings of murdered Jews. Over time the Nazis intended these Jews to perish as well.

Auschwitz was more complicated. The selection process, for instance, was conducted on a larger scale. Jews in each transport were selected either for a temporary chance to live – and likely be worked to death in one of the many industrial concerns nearby – or to be murdered immediately in the gas chambers of Birkenau.

Children were almost invariably sent to their deaths during the selection process. Only in the most exceptional circumstances – such as selection for medical experiments – did any of them survive more than a few hours. Dr Josef Mengele, for instance, conducted a notorious series of experiments at Auschwitz on twin children. Infamously, most of the children died during the process.

The reason we can see the vast area of Auschwitz Birkenau today, with its row upon row of wooden barracks, is because the Nazis planned on keeping selected Jews alive, albeit temporarily, in order to be used as workers. By 1944, part of Birkenau’s function was to act as a vast sorting area for human beings, with the Nazis keeping selected Jews at Birkenau alive for several weeks before subjecting them to further selections – either to be sent elsewhere for work or to be killed. Jews were often sent from Birkenau to camps close to industrial concerns in the surrounding area and then returned to Birkenau to be murdered once they could no longer work.

In death camps like Treblinka, on the other hand, there was no need for this kind of space or this number of barracks. The vast majority of Jews arriving there would be dead in a matter of hours.

What is the significance of Auschwitz today?

Auschwitz is the site of the largest single mass murder in the history the world. Some 1.1 million people died there, the vast majority of them Jews, though others were murdered as well. Not just Polish political prisoners but other groups like Sinti and Roma. That fact on its own is enough to ensure its lasting significance. But there’s more. It’s that the method of killing – in brick buildings resembling factories, where human beings would enter in one door and then emerge just hours later as ashes through another – encapsulates a particular kind of modern-day horror. This was mechanized extermination, the likes of which the world had never seen, organised by people from a cultured nation at the heart of Europe who knew exactly what they were doing.

I vividly recall one prisoner saying to me, that at Auschwitz Birkenau he once heard “the camp’s orchestra playing masterpieces by German, Austrian and Italian composers. SS men were sitting by the crematorium where children, mothers, women and men were burning, but they were just sitting there. Now I think that they were pleased to have properly completed their work and were due for a cultural entertainment. They had no dilemmas. The wind from Birkenau blew the smoke from the death camp in but they were just sitting and listening to Mozart and others. This is what a human being is capable of…”


Photos show the horrors of Auschwitz, 75 years after its liberation

It was the greatest tragedy of the Holocaust. In just five years, over one million people were murdered at Auschwitz, the largest and deadliest Nazi concentration camp.

Auschwitz was established in 1940 and located in the suburbs of Oswiecim, a Polish city the Germans annexed. Between 1940 and 1945, it grew to include three main camp centers and a slew of subcamps — each of which were used for forced labor, torture, and mass killing.

An estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz during its five-year operation, and approximately 1.1 million were killed.

The terror of Auschwitz finally subsided on January 27, 1945, when the Soviet Army liberated the remaining 7,000 prisoners from the camps.

On the 75th anniversary of this liberation, these photos exhibit the horror and history of Auschwitz.


Monowitz

A sub-camp and from November 1943 a concentration camp to which all the &ldquoindustrial&rdquo sub-camps in the Auschwitz complex were subordinated. It was established at the site of the Polish village of Monowice, whose inhabitants were expelled and buildings razed. The location had previously been envisioned as one of ten barracks-camps planned for compulsory laborers for IG Farben. The first of approximately 2,000 prisoners were brought there from Auschwitz I at the end of October 1942, after which the prisoner population rose to 6,000 in 1943, and almost 11,000 in the late summer of 1944. The prisoners lived in 59 wooden barracks and one made of concrete panels. Each barracks was furnished with 56 three-tier bunks, several tables and stools, and a central heating installation.

Despite somewhat better conditions than in Birkenau and an extra helping of camp soup (food), the strength of Monowitz prisoners dropped rapidly due to the hard labor, and they died or fell victim to selection. In total, 1,670 prisoners were murdered at the building site or died in the sub-camp hospital, and 11,000 were sent to Auschwitz and Birkenau, where the majority of them were killed with a lethal injection of phenol or in the gas chambers.

The commandant throughout the entire existence of Auschwitz III-Monowitz, renamed the Monowitz camp in November 1944, was SS-Hauptsturmführer Heinrich Schwarz. He had 440 SS men at his disposal. In January 1945, the prisoners were evacuated on foot to Gliwice, from where they were transported by rail to the Buchenwald and Mauthausen camps.


Dachau

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Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany, established on March 10, 1933, slightly more than five weeks after Adolf Hitler became chancellor. Built at the edge of the town of Dachau, about 12 miles (16 km) north of Munich, it became the model and training centre for all other SS-organized camps.

During World War II the main camp was supplemented by about 150 branches scattered throughout southern Germany and Austria, all of which collectively were called Dachau. (This southern system complemented the camps for central and northern Germany, at Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen.) In the course of Dachau’s history, at least 160,000 prisoners passed through the main camp, and 90,000 through the branches. Incomplete records indicate that at least 32,000 of the inmates died there from disease, malnutrition, physical oppression, and execution, but countless more were transported to the extermination camps in German-occupied Poland.

The composition of the inmates reflected the Nazis’ changing choice of victims. The first inmates were Social Democrats, Communists, and other political prisoners. Throughout its existence, Dachau remained a “political camp,” in which political prisoners retained a prominent role. Later victims included Roma (Gypsies) and homosexuals, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jews were brought to Dachau after Kristallnacht in November 1938. Initially, Jews could be freed if they had a way out of Germany. When the systematic killing of Jews began in 1942, many were sent from Dachau to the extermination camps. Dachau received Jews again after the “death marches” of the winter of 1944–45. These marches, following the forcible evacuation of the extermination camps, were one of the final phases of the Holocaust.

Dachau became the prototype of Nazi concentration camps. Its first commandant, Theodor Eicke, created the organizational structure for the camp. When he was appointed inspector general of all camps, the Dachau system became the model for the other camps.

A gas chamber was built in 1942 but never used. Those who were to be gassed were transported elsewhere, as were the sick, who were sent to Hartheim, one of the killing centres of the T4 Program, established to “euthanize” the infirm and disabled.

Dachau was the first and most important camp at which German doctors and scientists set up laboratories using inmates as involuntary guinea pigs for such experiments as determining the effects on human beings of sudden increases and decreases in atmospheric pressure, studying the effects of freezing on warm-blooded creatures, infecting prisoners with malaria and treating them with various drugs with unknown effects, and testing the effects of drinking seawater or going without food or water. Continued throughout World War II, such experiments and the harsh living conditions made Dachau one of the most notorious of camps. After the war, the scientists and doctors from this and other camps were tried at Nürnberg in the “Doctors’ Trial” seven were sentenced to death. (Sien Nürnberg trials.)

Dachau was liberated by American troops on April 29, 1945. Among their most-gruesome discoveries were railroad cars filled with Jewish prisoners who had died en route to the camp and had been left to decompose. American and British media coverage of Dachau and other newly liberated camps—which included photographs published in magazines and newsreel footage shown in cinemas—profoundly shaped the public’s understanding of the atrocities that had occurred.


Auschwitz: a short history of the largest mass murder site in human history

On 27 January 1945 Soviet soldiers entered the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex in south-west Poland. The site had been evacuated by the Nazis just days earlier. Thus ended the largest mass murder in a single location in human history.

Precise numbers are still debated, but according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the German SS systematically killed at least 960,000 of the 1.1-1.3 million Jews deported to the camp. Other victims included approximately 74,000 Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war and at least 10,000 from other nationalities. More people died at Auschwitz than at any other Nazi concentration camp and probably than at any death camp in history.

The Soviet troops found grisly evidence of the horror. About 7,000 starving prisoners were found alive in the camp. Millions of items of clothing that once belonged to men, women and children were discovered along with 6,350kg of human hair. The Auschwitz museum holds more than 100,000 pairs of shoes, 12,000 kitchen utensils, 3,800 suitcases and 350 striped camp garments.

Pile of boots at Auschwitz concentration camp. Photograph: Geraint Lewis/Rex

The first Nazi base in Auschwitz, named after the nearby Silesian town of Oświęcim, was set up in May 1940, 37 miles west of Krakow. Now known as Auschwitz I, the site covered 40 square kilometres.

In January 1942, the Nazi party decided to roll out the “Final Solution”. Camps dedicated solely to the extermination of Jews had been created before, but this was formalised by SS Lieutenant General Reinhard Heydrich in a speech at the Wannsee conference. The extermination camp Auschwitz II (or Auschwitz-Birkenau) was opened in the same year.

With its sections separated by barbed-wire fences, Auschwitz II had the largest prisoner population of any of the three main camps. In January 1942, the first chamber using lethal Zyklon B gas was built on the camp. This building was judged inadequate for killing on the scale the Nazis wanted, and four further chambers were built. These were used for systematic genocide right up until November 1944, two months before the camp was liberated.

Aerial view of Auschwitz-Birkenau

This is not the limit of the horrors of Auschwitz I. It was also the site of disturbing medical experimentation on Jewish and Roma prisoners, including castration, sterilisation and testing how they were affected by contagious diseases. The infamous “Angel of Death”, SS captain Dr Josef Mengele, was one of the physicians practising here. His particular interest was experimenting on twins.

According to the numbers provided by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Auschwitz was the site of the most deaths (1.1 million) of any of the six dedicated extermination camps. By these estimates, Auschwitz was the site of at least one out of every six deaths during the Holocaust. The only camp with comparable figures was Treblinka in north-east Poland, where about 850,000 are thought to have died.

Children wearing concentration camp uniforms shortly after the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet army on 27 January 1945. Photograph: SUB/AP

The third camp, Auschwitz III, also called Monowitz, was opened in October 1942. It was predominantly used as a base for imprisoned labourers working for the German chemical company IG Farben. According to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum, an estimated 10,000 labourers are thought to have died there. Once they were judged incapable of work, most were killed with a phenol injection to the heart.

The SS began to evacuate the camp in mid-January 1945. About 60,000 prisoners were forced to march 30 miles westwards where they could board trains to other concentration camps. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates 15,000 died during the journey, with the Nazis killing anyone who fell behind.

More than 7,000 Nazi personnel are thought to have served at Auschwitz but just a few hundred have been prosecuted for the crimes committed there. The pursuit of justice has not ceased, with German justice officials saying on 2013 that there were 30 surviving Auschwitz officials who should face prosecution.


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