Lexy, Sarah, Ellie: Auschwitz
Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland

“The one who does not remember history is bound to
live through it again."

"They were beaten with clubs and whips, torn by dogs, dragged around by their hair and kicked in the stomach with heavy German boots. Then, when they collapsed, they were thrown into the crematory -- alive."
-- A survivor of Auschwitz


Concentration Camp

–noun: a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc., esp. any of the camps established by the Nazis prior to and during World War II for the confinement and persecution of prisoners.

Facts about the camp
· Most victims were murdered in six extermination camps. Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland was the largest and at least 1.1 million Jews were killed there before its liberation by the Red Army on Jan. 27, 1945.

In total 85 percent of the Jewish population in Poland died -- some 2.8 million people.
· Only an estimated 11 percent of Jewish children who were alive in 1933 survived the Holocaust.
· An estimated 5.5 million other victims of Nazi atrocities -- labelled "enemies of the German state" -- included up to half a million Gypsies, an estimated 10,000-15,000 homosexuals and 3 million non-Jewish Poles. Catholic and Protestant clergy also were sent to concentration camps as well as Jehovah's Witnesses.
· Some Holocaust researchers fault the wartime allies for not bombing the railway tracks that brought Jews from across Europe to the camps. Survivors lament what Nobel prize-winning author Elie Wiesel describes as shameful indifference to mass murder.
· The United States and Britain garnered much intelligence about the camps, other historians say, but their priority was a total military defeat of Nazi Germany, not rescuing European Jews.
· The camp was liberated by Soviet soldiers on January 27 1945;
· About 200,000 inmates of the camp between 1940 and 1945 survived;
Denmark was the only Nazi-occupied country that managed to save 95% of its Jewish residents. Following a tip-off by a German diplomat, thousands of Jews were evacuated to neutral Sweden.
· Out of a total of about 7,000 guards at Auschwitz, including 170 female staff (the most infamous was Irma Grese, the 20-year-old daughter of a dairyman), 750 were prosecuted and punished after Nazi Germany was defeated.
· More people died in Auschwitz than the British and American losses of World War Two combined.
· About 60 million Reichmarks - equivalent to £125m today - was generated for the Nazi state by slave labour at Auschwitz.
· A unit in Auschwitz where valuables snatched from incoming prisoners were kept was known as Canada, because Canada was thought to be a land of untold riches.
· Nazis at Auschwitz offered some non-Jewish female prisoners the option of 'light work'. As the women soon discovered, 'light work' meant prostitution.
· To lull new arrivals at Treblinka death camp into believing they were only in transit, plants were placed on the railway station and at the entrance to the gas chambers.
· The train ramp was disguised to look like a regular railway station with signs, timetables and even a clock painted on the wall.
· A Star of David was placed above the entrance to the gas chamber and a sign was painted in Hebrew on a purple curtain covering the entrance to the gas chamber that said "This is the Gateway to God. Righteous men will pass through".
· Josef Mengele's scientific experiments at Auschwitz often involved studies of twins. If one twin died, he would immediately kill the other and carry out comparative autopsies.
Some Jewish prisoners secretly wrote eye-witness accounts of the atrocities of the gas chambers and hid them in bottles or metal containers buried in the ground. A number of these accounts were discovered after the war.

960,000 Jews were killed in Auschwitz

These are some of the websites with facts we thought would be useful: