Auschwitz Essay Research Paper The Nazi camp

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Auschwitz Essay, Research Paper The Nazi camp of Auschwitz, located thirty miles west of Krakow, was the largest, most deadly camp used during World War II (Friedrich 2). Built in 1940, it was the first camp located beyond the frontiers of the Third Reich (Friedrich 4). “According to various estimates, 1,600,000 people were murdered in the killing center?” (Yahil 372). Ninety percent of those who were murdered in Auschwitz were Jewish (Yahil 372). Originally an Austrian artillery barracks, Auschwitz was to be supposed to be built at the intersection of the Sola River and the Vistula. Heinrich Himmler, commander of the Schutzstaffel (the Fuher’s private guard), was to lead the building of the camp. Himmler placed SS major Rudolph Hoess in charge of the construction

(Friedrich 5). The first people who worked to build the camp of Auschwitz were thirty German criminals, brought there on May 20,1940, by an SS officer named Gerhard Pallitzsch (Friedrich 7). The town council of Oswiecim cooperated with Hoess’s orders of rounding up, and enslaving over two hundred Jews to help work on the construction (Friedrich 7). Already, Hoess was receiving letters of when the camp would be ready to accept prisoners. Before he even had time to respond, the first trainload of 728 Polish political prisoners arrived on June 14, 1940. On July 6, a prisoner by the name of Tadeusz Wiejowski escaped. The SS and other various German groups searched for him for three days, but he was never found. This angered Hoess, causing him to declare that six villages that

surrounded the area were now property of Auschwitz (Friedrich 7-8). Heinrich Himmler, who wanted Auschwitz to be the agricultural center of the new Reich, was still dissatisfied (Friedrich 8). In March 1941, he ordered the erection of Auschwitz II, a second much larger section of the camp, which was located about three kilometers from the original camp (Gutman 107). Meanwhile, on June 22, Hitler’s panzer division began to plow across the Russian borders (Friedrich 8). Soon after, thousands of Russians were sent to build the second Auschwitz, known as Birkenau (Friedrich 9). In early October, the first snow fell in the area (Adelsberger 49). No one, not the prisoners, nor those in charge of the camps were prepared for the harsh winter (Adelsberger 49). The majority of the

prisoners had shoes (Adelsberger 50). There were no windows in the barracks, and barely any had heat (Adelsberger 50). That winter, thousands were either shot, or died of starvation (Adelsberger 50). They were buried in a mass grave that was approximately one-hundred-fifty feet wide, two-hundred feet long and fifteen feet deep (Friedrich 11). Of the twelve thousand Russians sent to Auschwitz, only a hundred and fifty were still alive by the next summer (Friedrich 11). Local fisheries complained of fish dying due to the contamination of the soil around the area. The decomposition of the bodies of the prisoners was beginning to poison the earth. Hoess had to find another way to dispose of the bodies. Heinrich Himmler heard of the problem and sent Adolf Eichmann to help Hoess find a

solution. What they found was a gas called Zyklon B that had the potential to kill up too eight hundred prisoners within minutes. Soon after, plans for the construction of four crematoria were approved, and the ability for the mass destruction of humans was reached (Friedrich 16-17). The leaders and doctors of the camp would line up on the railway and wave the new prisoners into line. A wave to the left meant a straight trip to the gas chamber. Most woman and children were waved to the left along with the old and sick. Also everyone that wanted to remain with his or her families was waved to the left. A wave to the right meant hard labor in construction gangs, or slave labor (Gutman 109). May 12 brought a turning point in the history of Auschwitz. The fifteen hundred Jews on the