Auschwitz: the Overview of a Concentration Camp

2321 words 10 pages
Overview of the Concentration Camp
The Holocaust was one of the most horrifying crimes against humanity. "Hitler, in an attempt to establish the pure Aryan race, decided that Jews, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma (Gypsies), and homosexuals amongst others were to be eliminated from the German population. One of his main methods of exterminating these "undesirables" was through the use of concentration and death camps. In January of 1941, Adolf Hitler and his top officials decided to make their "final solution" a reality. Their goal was to eliminate the Jews and the "impure" from the entire German population. Auschwitz was not only the largest concentration camp that carried out Hitler's "final solution," but it was
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Also the complexes of both camps were enclosed by a chain of guard posts that were two-thirds of a mile beyond the system of electric fences. (Encyclopedia of the Holocaust) In addition, Auschwitz II was surrounded by a network of canals that totaled 8 miles in length.
Most of the people sent to Auschwitz entered at the Birkenau arrival platform, commonly known as the "ramp." Upon arrival the passengers were cramped dazed and hungry. They were told to leave their larger pieces of luggage behind and they would be delivered directly to their new quarters. This was obviously another lie the SS told to the deportees who believed they were all there for work. Prisoners of a section of the camp called "Canada," wore striped suits and were assigned to clear the boxcars of luggage and debris, amongst other operational tasks. This was a much sought after job because workers sometimes found scraps of food in the box cars, however the workers were searched by guards after every shift.
Under the direction of the SS, prisoners formed columns of five across, men on one side, women and children on the other. This is where the process known by the German word "selecktion" meaning selection took place. The selection team consisted mostly of doctors and was headed by the now