By: Kelsey Gr. and Livvy K.

Imagine being forced out of your house in the middle of the day without even saying goodbye to your family and being shoved in a cattle car for days on end. There is no personal space to do anything; no bathrooms, sleeping space, and breathing room. Once you were taken to your destination, a place unfamiliar to you, you are shoved into one of two lines. One line leads to your death and one leads to a life of endless labor. Which line would you prefer in a situation like this?
external image auschwitz_2.jpg

Background Information:
Auschwitz was located in Cracow, Poland. It became the main killing center for the Nazis. It was also the largest concentration camp and extermination center. This camp has also become the Holocaust symbol. When you first walk in there was a sign that said, "Arbeit Macht Frei", translated means, "Work Makes One Free." This satement is actually reversed; if you work in Auschwitz, the malnutrition and disease will actually kill you. Once you enter into the gates of Auschwitz, you may never come out.


When You got seperated into lines, on either side you went you had your head shaved and you were stripped of all your valuable clothing or jewelry. The Nazis tatooed a number on your left forearm and you were now reffered to as that number. You were basically stripped of your identity.

Auschwitz started being built in May of 1940. They purpoosely surrounded it with high electric, barbed fences to keep prisoners inside. There were also 9 watch towers, and armed SS guards. Auschwitz was 40 squared kilometers and 28 2-story buliding that divided the camp. It was approximately 37 miles away from all of civilization. The camp was bulit where it is because it was the central intersection of roads and railroads. Later the camp became over filled and 3 more camps were bulit: Auschwitz I (was the first camp), Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz.

Rudolf Hoss was the commandant of the camp. His goal was to exterminate all the prisoners admitted to the camp. In March 1942, trains started to come in daily filled with prisoners. The life expectancy of these people were only a few months. 12,000 prisoners could be gased and cremated in a single day. Over 50% of the registered prisoners were killed. 1.3-1.5million people were murdered in the gas chambers. Prisoners had to wear stripped uniforms that probably didnt fit them right and shave there heads. They were also tattooed there pin numbers instead of there names. Prisoners would line up against what was known the "firing wall" and be shot at. By 1944, some 6,000 people were being killed a day.

Camp Experiments:
Many know Auschwitz as one of the main concentration camps with medical experiments. Mengele, one of the most common "doctors" performed many tests on innocent people. Although many children liked him, he was very cruel. Patients were experimented on to see what was the best way to keep German soldiers with best medical equipment, for instance, freezing water resistant suits. They also tested to see how to reproduce certain people who are worthy to be German.

Oscar Schindler:
Oscar Schindler was a very brave man who helped the Jews. In order to keep them out of Concentration camps, he employed them at a business he made. The Jews greatly respected him for this reason. He referred to them as his children. He helped save about 1,200 Jews from being persecuted in Auschwitz. Once he died, the jews layed rocks and flowers on his grave as a sign of respect. He also has a movie out about him called "Schindlers List."
external image 106576_schindler0.jpg

Camp Grounds:
The camp had many bunkers in the middle of it. The bunkers in the picture are all the little black rectangles. They were where the victims of the Holocaust mostly lived. Off the to sides, there were places for experiments and tests. Also on the side of the camp was a Crematoria, a huge chamber that burned the dead. Gas Chambers were also located in various areas of the camp. These gas chambers were a quick and easy way to exterminate people. The guards would tell the people that were entering the chambers that they should put their clothes somewhere they would remember it. Instead of water, the Jews were poisoned by Zycklon B. It is ironic that the prisoners never got their clothes back.
external image auschwitz_recon1.jpg

  • Most only survived few weeks or months
  • More than one Million Lost their lives
  • Nine out of Ten victimes were Jewish

more info about the 3 camps

people within the camp

Auschwitz I