Terror Of Auschwitz Essay Research Paper The

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Terror Of Auschwitz Essay, Research Paper The Terror of Auschwitz The Holocaust refers to any widespread human disaster, but it is more widely known as the almost complete destruction of the Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany. During the 19th century, European Jewry was being emancipated, and, in most European countries, Jews achieved some equality of status with non-Jews. Nonetheless, at times Jews were vilified and harassed by anti-Semitic groups. Indeed, some anti-Semites believed that Jewry was an alien “race” not assimilable into a European culture, but they did not formulate any coherent anti-Semitic campaign. In 1940, Germany began sending Jews to Concentration Camps, a place where selected groups of people (Jews) are confined, usually for political reasons and under

inhumane conditions. One of the largest concentration camps was located thirty-seven miles west of Krakow, Poland. Auschwitz was the camp where Jewish people were worked and killed. This camp, out of all the rest tortured the most people. Auschwitz began as a barracks camp in the town of Oswiecim, for the polish army in the early 1930’s. Germany then captured Poland and needed another location for Polish political prisoners. In 1940, the German SS sent a commission to Oswiecim to see if the barracks there could be used. The first inspection reported that it could not be used, however, a later inspection stated that after a few minor changes it would be useable. On May 4, 1940 Rudolf Hoss officially established it as a German concentration camp. Hoss was Auschwitz’s first

commandant. Auschwitz was originally intended for Polish political prisoners and other Poles. In June of 1940, the first load of prisoners arrived. 728 Poles and a handful of Jews. Soon, though, it became a melting pot of prisoners. Male Czechs, Soviets, Yugoslavs, Jews, and Gypsies; were housed there. Not until 1942 did women arrive. In January of 1942 it was decided that Auschwitz would become the main Jewish extermination camp. Thereafter cattle cars brought in ship loads of Jews monthly. They were brought from all over in these filthy cars, going for days without food, water, or washing facilities. Many times these cars were so crowded that people were simply crushed to death. During the first few months of operation, Auschwitz simply housed the Jews because an effective

method for mass extermination had not yet been found. They performed many experiments on the prisoners to find a gas that was cheap and quickly effective. Also, they had not yet begun cremating the bodies so they had prisoners dig huge trenches 15 ft. wide, 15 ft. deep, and 150 yds. long to bury them. These massive holes would be filled within days. However, during the summer, the bodies bloated and rotted and a disgusting purplish liquid began seeping up from these graves, smelling of bile and rotting flesh. Nearby fish farmers complained that their fish were dying from pollution caused by the rotting bodies. Some other way to deal with the prisoners had to be found, especially since their numbers were increasing with every arrival. The Nazis then discovered Zyklon B. It was a

very effective killing gas. Since they were then able to kill more efficiently, they had to find a more efficient means of disposing of the bodies. Soon, mass crematoriums were erected, capable of burning 2,000 bodies in a single day. Upon arrival at camp, doctors made selections as to who would live and perform slave labor. The others would be gassed. Two lines would be formed, one going in the direction of the camp, and the other leading toward the ’shower rooms’. Those not selected for the ‘life’ line were told that they would be going to the showers for ‘delousing’. They were made to fold their clothes neatly and put them in piles and march, naked, to the ’showers’. Those rooms were equipped with fake shower heads and benches, but none of the shower heads