Table of Contents Auschwitz Concentration and Death Camps



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Table of Contents




Auschwitz Concentration and Death Camps………………………...2-4

Eva Braun Biography……………………………………………..….5-6

Holocaust Badges…………………………………………………….7

German Jews during the Holocaust, 1939–1945…………………….8-10


Auschwitz-Birkenau: Crematoria & Gas Chambers………………...11-13

The Versailles Treaty………………………………………………...14

Ghettos…………………………………………………………….....15-16





Auschwitz Concentration and Death Camp

What Was Auschwitz?view of auschwitz\'s barbed wire fence. - (photo courtesy ushmm)


Built by the Nazis as both a concentration and death camp, Auschwitz was the largest of the Nazi's camps and the most streamlined mass killing center ever created. It was at Auschwitz that 1.1 million people were murdered, mostly Jews. Auschwitz has become a symbol of death, the Holocaust , and the destruction of European Jewry.

Auschwitz Established



Click on pictures to view more photos of Auschwitz
On April 27, 1940, Heinrich Himmler ordered the construction of a new camp near Oswiecim, Poland (about 37 miles or 60 km west of Krakow). The Auschwitz Concentration Camp ("Auschwitz" is the German spelling of "Oswiecim") quickly became the largest Nazi concentration and death camp. By the time of its liberation, Auschwitz had grown to include three large camps and 45 sub-camps.
Auschwitz I (or "the Main Camp") was the original camp. This camp housed prisoners, was the location of medical experiments, and the site of Block 11 (a place of severe torture) and the Black Wall (a place of execution). At the entrance of Auschwitz I stood the infamous sign that stated "Arbeit Macht Frei" ("work makes one free"). Auschwitz I also housed the Nazi staff that ran the entire camp complex.

Auschwitz II (or "Birkenau") was completed in early 1942. Birkenau was built approximately 1.9 miles (3 km) away from Auschwitz I and was the real killing center of the Auschwitz death camp. It was in Birkenau where the dreaded selections were carried out on the ramp and where the sophisticated and camouflaged gas chambers laid in waiting. Birkenau, much larger than Auschwitz I, housed the most prisoners and included areas for women and Gypsies.

Auschwitz III (or "Buna-Monowitz") was built last as "housing" for the forced laborers at the Buna synthetic rubber factory in Monowitz. The 45 other sub-camps also housed prisoners that were used for forced labor.

Arrival and Selection


Jews, Gypsies (Roma) , homosexuals, asocials , criminals, and prisoners of war were gathered, stuffed into cattle cars on trains, and sent to Auschwitz. When the trains stopped at Auschwitz II: Birkenau, the newly arrived were told to leave all their belongings on board and were then forced to disembark from the train and gather upon the railway platform, known as "the ramp."

Families, who had disembarked together, were quickly and brutally split up as an SS officer, usually a Nazi doctor, ordered each individual into one of two lines. Most women, children, older men, and those that looked unfit or unhealthy were sent to the left; while most young men and others that looked strong enough to do hard labor were sent to the right. Unbeknownst to the people in the two lines, the left line meant immediate death at the gas chambers and the right meant that they would become a prisoner of the camp. (Most of the prisoners would later die from starvation, exposure, forced labor, and/or torture.)

Once the selections had been concluded, a select group of Auschwitz prisoners (part of "Kanada") gathered up all the belongings that had been left on the train and sorted them into huge piles, which were then stored in warehouses. These items (including clothing, eye glasses, medicine, shoes, books, pictures, jewelry, and prayer shawls) would periodically be bundled and shipped back to Germany.

Gas Chambers and Crematoria at Auschwitz


The people who were sent to the left, which was the majority of those who arrived at Auschwitz, were never told that they had been chosen for death. The entire mass murder system depended on keeping this secret from its victims. If the victims had known they were headed to their death, they would most definitely have fought back.

But they didn't know, so the victims latched onto the hope that the Nazis wanted them to believe. Having been told that they were going to be sent to work, the masses of victims believed it when they were told they first needed to be disinfected and have showers.

The victims were ushered into an ante-room, where they were told to remove all their clothing. Completely naked, these men, women, and children were then ushered into a large room that looked like a big shower room (there were even fake shower heads on the walls). When the doors shut, a Nazi would pour Zyklon-B pellets into an opening (in the roof or through a window) which would turn into poison gas once it contacted air.

The gas killed quickly, but it was not instantaneous. Victims, finally realizing that this was not a shower room, clambered over each other, trying to find a pocket of breathable air. Others would claw at the doors until their fingers bled.

Once everyone in the room was dead, special prisoners assigned this horrible task (Sonderkommandos) would air out the room and then remove the bodies. The bodies would be searched for gold and then placed into the crematoria.

Although Auschwitz I did have a gas chamber, the majority of the mass murdering occurred in Auschwitz II: Birkenau's four main gas chambers, each of which had its own crematorium. Each of these gas chambers could murder about 6,000 people a day.


Life in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp


Those that had been sent to the right during the selection process on the ramp went through a dehumanizing process that turned them into camp prisoners. All of their clothes and any remaining personal belongings were taken from them and their hair was shorn completely off. They were given striped prison outfits and a pair of shoes, all of which were usually the wrong size. They were then registered, had their arms tattooed with a number, and transferred to one of Auschwitz's camps for forced labor.

The new arrivals were then thrown into the cruel, hard, unfair, horrific world of camp life. Within their first week at Auschwitz, most new prisoners had discovered the fate of their loved ones that had been sent to the left. Some of the new prisoners never recovered from this news.

In the barracks, prisoners slept cramped together with three prisoners per wooden bunk. Toilets in the barracks consisted of a bucket, which had usually overflowed by morning. In the morning, all prisoners would be assembled outside for roll call (Appell). Standing outside for hours at roll call, whether in intense heat or below freezing temperatures, was itself a torture.

After roll call, the prisoners would be marched to the place where they were to work for the day. While some prisoners worked inside factories, others worked outside doing hard labor. After hours of hard work, the prisoners would be marched back to camp for another roll call.

Food was scarce and usually consisted of a bowl of soup and some bread. The limited amount of food and extremely hard labor was intentionally meant to work and starve the prisoners to death.

Medical Experiments


Also on the ramp, Nazi doctors would search among the new arrivals for anyone they might want to experiment upon. Their favorite choices were twins and dwarves, but also anyone who in any way looked physically unique, such as having different colored eyes, would be pulled from the line for experiments.

At Auschwitz, there was a team of Nazi doctors who conducted experiments, but the two most notorious were Dr. Carl Clauberg and Dr. Josef Mengele. Dr. Clauberg focused his attention on finding ways to sterilize women, by such unorthodox methods as X-rays and injections of various substances into their uteruses. Dr. Mengele experimented on identical twins, hoping to find a secret to cloning what Nazis considered the perfect Aryan.


Liberation



Click on picture to view short video of a survivor of Auschwitz
When the Nazis realized that the Russians were successfully pushing their way toward Germany in late 1944, they decided to start destroying evidence of their atrocities at Auschwitz. Himmler ordered the destruction of the crematoria and the human ashes were buried in huge pits and covered with grass. Many of the warehouses were emptied, with their contents shipped back to Germany. c:\users\fbastian\desktop\survivor.jpg

In the middle of January 1945, the Nazis removed the last 58,000 prisoners from Auschwitz and sent them on death marches. The Nazis planned on marching these exhausted prisoners all the way to camps closer or within Germany.

On January 27, 1945, the Russians reached Auschwitz. When the Russians entered the camp, they found the 7,650 prisoners who had been left behind. The camp was liberated; these prisoners were now free.

http://history1900s.about.com/od/holocaust/a/auschwitz.htm



Eva Braun Biography

Synopsis


Eva Braun was born on February 6, 1912, in Munich, Germany, and went on to work as an assistant at the shop of Heinrich Hoffman, who was Adolf Hitler's photographer. She became Hitler's mistress and would suffer emotionally during the relationship, attempting to commit suicide twice, though remaining steadfast to Hitler. As the Nazi forces fell at the end of World War II, the two wed on April 29, 1945. The next day, they both committed suicide.

Early Lifehttps://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:and9gctuwlhzugtt2mmqvgsx6ck3s9cftzuex4wlmwyg5asfbtdol03yzw


Eva Anna Paula Braun was born on February 6, 1912, in Munich, Germany, to a school teacher and seamstress. Braun was the middle child of three daughters in a middle-class family and seemed to be the typical teenager, with a major interest in clothes, boys and makeup. She enjoyed outdoor activities and wasn't too interested in her studies, earning average grades.

She attended a convent school, but left upon realizing that it wasn't a good fit. She later went to work as a bookkeeper and assistant at the shop of Heinrich Hoffman, who had become Adolf Hitler's personal photographer. Braun met Hitler at the store in 1929, when she was 17 and he was 40, running the National Socialist German Workers Party.


Becoming Hitler's Companion


In the early 1930s, Braun and Hitler became more closely involved after one of Hitler's mistresses committed suicide. The exact romantic extent of Braun's relationship with the leader is still not fully known, though Braun expressed deep devotion to the relationship. (The correspondence between Hitler and Braun was later destroyed upon Hitler's orders, with limited diary entries found from Braun.) It is reported that Hitler was often an oppressive presence and devoted the bulk of his time to the development of the Nazi Party. Eva's father, Fritz, was deeply opposed to his daughter's involvement with the leader. https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:and9gctv_cmzrd2nbnnmlne_l52nky0wuimbs7xalc4e18ocdqmoyugs

Braun and Hitler kept their relationship a secret, with there generally being no public sightings of the couple together. Braun did, however, attend the Nazi's Nuremberg convention in 1935. It is reported that she generally wielded no influence in Hitler's political decisions, and that he chose her as a companion because he believed she would not become a challenge to his authority.

In both 1932 and 1935, Braun attempted suicide; Hitler funded an apartment for Braun as a result of the second attempt. In 1936, she also took up residence at Hitler's Berghof chalet in the Bavarian Alps, wielding some influence in the domestic sphere and enjoying activities such as gymnastics, sunbathing, skiing and swimming. She is said to have remained generally unperturbed during the initial developments and invasions that initiated World War II, though her mood changed when the tide was turning against the Axis Powers.

Marriage and Suicide


Toward the end of the war, Braun could have left Hitler, but she instead joined him at his bunker in Berlin. In the final days of the war, the two contemplated killing themselves rather than fall into the hands of enemy troops. For her show of loyalty, Hitler agreed to marry Braun. The couple wed on April 29, 1945. The following day, on April 30, 1945, they committed suicide. Braun died from ingesting poison while Hitler poisoned and shot himself. Their bodies were brought to the bombed-out garden behind the Reich Chancellery, where they were burned. page semi-protected

Eva Anna Paula Hitler. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 10:15, Dec 14, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/eva-braun-201295.


Holocaust Badges



Click on photo to see pictures of badges worn by Jews across America.
The Jews of Europe were legally compelled to wear badges or distinguishing garmets (e.g., pointed hats) at least as far back as the 13th century. This practice continued throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissnace, but was largely phased out during the 17th and 18th centuries. With the coming of the French Revolution and the emancipation of western European Jews throughout the 19th century, the wearing of Jewish badges was abolished in Western Europe.

The Nazis resurrected this practice as part of their persecutions during the Holocaust. Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Main Security Office, first recommended that Jews should wear identifying badges following the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9 and 10, 1938. Shortly after the invasion of Poland in September 1939, local German authorities began introducing mandatory wearing of badges. By the end of 1939, all Jews in the newly-acquired Polish territories were required to wear badges. Upon invading the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Germans again applied this requirement to newly-conquered lands. Throughout the rest of 1941 and 1942, Germany, its satellite states and western occupied territories adopted regulations stipulating that Jews wear identifying badges. Only in Denmark, where King Christian X is said to have threatened to wear the badge himself if it were imposed on his country’s Jewish population, were the Germans unable to impose such a regulation. https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:and9gcszza07nzoanfbxt-q2tcxwpr-4yoq2mh-y_gbtdgo25rtvoher

The German government’s policy of forcing Jews to wear identifying badges was but one of many psychological tactics aimed at isolating and dehumanizing the Jews of Europe, directly marking them as being different (i.e., inferior) to everyone else. It allowed for the easier facilitation of their separation from society and subsequent ghettoization, which ultimately led to the deportation and murder of 6 million Jews. Those who failed or refused to wear the badge risked severe punishment, including death. For example, the Jewish Council (Judenrat) of the ghetto in Bialystok, Poland announced that “… the authorities have warned that severe punishment – up to and including death by shooting – is in store for Jews who do not wear the yellow badge on back and front.”

Photo Credits:


Jewish Virtual Library: jewishvirtuallibrary.org
Jewish Badges and Armbands 1939-1945: http://www.geschichteinchronologie.ch/judentum-aktenlage/hol/EncJud_Jewish-badge-and-armbands-1939-1945-ENGL.html


German Jews during the Holocaust, 1939–1945

 In January 1933, some 522,000 Jews by religious definition lived in Germany. Over half of these individuals, approximately 304,000 Jews, emigrated during the first six years of the Nazi dictatorship, leaving only approximately 214,000 Jews in Germany proper (1937 borders) on the eve of World War II. two german jewish women wearing the yellow star of david. germany, september 27, 1941.

In the years between 1933 and 1939, the Nazi regime had brought radical and daunting social, economic, and communal change to the German Jewish community. Six years of Nazi-sponsored legislation had marginalized and disenfranchised Germany's Jewish citizenry and had expelled Jews from the professions and from commercial life. By early 1939, only about 16 percent of Jewish breadwinners had steady employment of any kind. Thousands of Jews remained interned in concentration camps following the mass arrests in the aftermath of Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) in November 1938.


Two German Jewish women wearing the yellow Star of David. Germany, September 27, 1941.
World War II

Yet the most drastic changes for the German Jewish community came with World War II in Europe. In the early war years, the newly transformed Reich Association of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland), led by prominent Jewish theologian Leo Baeck but subject to the demands of Nazi German authorities, worked to organize further Jewish emigration, to support Jewish schools and self-help organizations, and to help the German Jewish community contend with an ever-growing mass of discriminatory legislation.

Following the outbreak of war on September 1, 1939, the government imposed new restrictions on Jews remaining in Germany. One of the first wartime ordinances imposed a strict curfew on Jewish individuals and prohibited Jews from entering designated areas in many German cities. Once a general food rationing began, Jews received reduced rations; further decrees limited the time periods in which Jews could purchase food and other supplies and restricted access to certain stores, with the result that Jewish households often faced shortages of the most basic essentials.

German authorities also demanded that Jews relinquish property “essential to the war effort” such as radios, cameras, bicycles, electrical appliances, and other valuables, to local officials. In September 1941, a decree prohibited Jews from using public transportation. In the same month came the notorious edict requiring Jews over the age of six to wear the yellow Jewish Star (Magen David) on their outermost garment. While ghettos were generally not established in Germany, strict residence regulations forced Jews to live in designated areas of German cities, concentrating them in “Jewish houses” (“Judenhäuser”). German authorities issued ordinances requiring Jews fit for work to perform compulsory forced labor.

In early 1943, as German authorities implemented the last major deportations of German Jews to Theresienstadt or Auschwitz, German justice authorities enacted a mass of laws and ordinances legitimizing the Reich's seizure of their remaining property and regulating its distribution among the German population. The persecution of Jews by legal decree ended with a July 1943 ordinance removing Jews entirely from the protection of German law and placing them under the direct jurisdiction of the Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauuptamt-RSHA).

Deportation

Public imagination associates the deportation of Jewish citizens with the “Final Solution,” but indeed the first deportations of Jews from the Reich—albeit Jews from areas recently annexed by Germany—began in October 1939 as part of the Nisko, or Lublin, Plan. This deportation strategy envisioned a Jewish “reservation” in the Lublin District of the Government General (that part of German-occupied Poland not directly annexed to the Reich). Adolf Eichmann, the German RSHA official who would later organize the deportation of so many of Europe's Jewish communities to ghettos and killing centers, coordinated the transfer of some 3,500 Jews from Moravia in the former Czechoslovakia, from Katowice (then Kattowitz) in German-annexed Silesia, and from the Austrian capital, Vienna, to Nisko on the San River. Although problems with the deportation effort and a change in German policy put an end to these deportations, Eichmann's superiors in the RSHA were sufficiently satisfied with his initiative to ensure that he would play a role in future deportation proceedings.

In addition, RSHA officials coordinated the deportation of approximately 100,000 Jews from German-annexed Polish territory (the so-called province of Danzig-West Prussia, District Wartheland, and East Upper Silesia) into the Government General in the autumn and winter of 1939–1940. In October 1940, Gauleiter Josef Bürckel ordered the expulsion of nearly 7,000 Jews from Baden and the Saarpfalz in southwestern Germany to areas of unoccupied France in a second deportation of German Jews. French authorities quickly absorbed most of these German Jews in the Gurs internment camp in the Pyrenees of southwestern France. view photographs


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Upon Hitler's authorization, German authorities began systematic deportations of Jews from Germany in October 1941, even before the SS and police established killing centers (“extermination camps”) in German-controlled Poland. Pursuant to the Eleventh Decree of Germany's Reich Citizenship Law (November 1941), German Jews “deported to the East” suffered automatic confiscation of their property upon crossing the Reich frontier.

Between October and December 1941, German authorities deported around 42,000 Jews from the so-called Greater German Reich—including Austria and the annexed Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia—virtually all to ghettos in Lodz, Minsk, Kovno (Kaunas, Kovne), and Riga. German Jews sent to Lodz in 1941 and to Warsaw, the Izbica and Piaski transit ghettos and other locations in the Generalgouvernement in the first half of 1942 numbered among those deported together with Polish Jews to the killing centers of Chelmno (Kulmhof), Treblinka, and Belzec.

German authorities deported more than 50,000 Jews from the so-called Greater German Reich to ghettos in the Baltic states and Belorussia (today Belarus) between early November 1941 and late October 1942. There the SS and police shot the overwhelming majority of them. After selecting a small minority to survive temporarily for exploitation as forced laborers, the SS and police interned them in special German sections of the Baltic and Belorussian ghettos, segregated from those few local Jews whose survival the SS and police had permitted, generally to exploit special occupational skills.

Such “German ghettos” within a larger ghetto framework existed notably in Riga and in Minsk. SS and police officials killed most of these German Jews when they liquidated the ghettos in 1943. After late October 1942, the German authorities deported the majority of Jews remaining in Germany directly to the killing center at Auschwitz-Birkenau or to Theresienstadt.

German regulations initially exempted German Jewish war veterans and elderly persons over the age of sixty-five, as well as Jews living in mixed marriages (“privileged marriages”) with German “Aryans” and the offspring of those marriages from anti-Jewish measures, including deportations. In the end, German officials deported disabled and highly decorated Jewish war veterans as well as elderly or prominent Jews from so-called Greater German Reich and the German-occupied Netherlands to the Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto near Prague. Although the SS used the ghetto as a showcase to portray the fiction of “humane” treatment of Jews, Theresienstadt in actuality represented a way station for most Jews en route to their deportation “to the east.” The SS and police routinely relocated Jews from Theresienstadt, including German Jews, to killing centers and killing sites in German-occupied Poland, Belorussia, and the Baltic States. More than 30,000 died in the Theresienstadt ghetto itself, mostly from starvation, illness, or maltreatment.

In May 1943, Nazi German authorities reported that the Reich was judenrein (“free of Jews”). By this time, mass deportations had left fewer than 20,000 Jews in Germany. Some survived because they were married to non-Jews or because race laws classified them as Mischlinge (of mixed ancestry, or part Jewish) and were thus temporarily exempt from deportation. Others, called “U-Boats” or “submarines,” lived in hiding and evaded arrest and deportation, often with the aid of non-Jewish Germans who sympathized with their plight.

In all, the Germans and their collaborators killed between 160,000 and 180,000 German Jews in the Holocaust, including most of those Jews deported out of Germany.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “German Jews During the Holocaust, 1939-1945.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005469. Accessed on 12-12-14.


Auschwitz-Birkenau:
Crematoria & Gas Chambers

Crematorium I


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/images/holocaust/aucrem.jpg


Crematorium I operated [at Auschwitz] from August 15, 1940 until July 1943. According to calculations by the German authorities, 340 corpses could be burned every 24 hours after the installation of the three furnaces.

The largest room in this building was designated as a morgue. It was adapted as the first provisional gas chamber in the autumn of 1941. The SS used Zyklon B to kill thousands of Jews upon arrival, as well as several groups of Soviet prisoners of war.




If viewing virtually, click picture to see more pictures.

Prisoners selected in the hospital as unlikely to recover their health quickly were also killed in the gas chamber. Poles sentenced to death by the German summary court.

After the establishment in Auschwitz II-Birkenau of two more provisional gas chambers, Bunkers No. 1 and 2 (the so-called "little red house" and "little white house"), the camp authorities shifted the mass murder of the Jews there and gradually stopped using the first gas chamber.

After the completion of four crematoria with gas chambers in Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the burning of corpses in Crematorium I was halted. The building was used for storage, and then designated as an SS air-raid shelter. The furnaces, chimney, and some of the walls were demolished, and the openings in the roof through which the SS poured Zyklon B were plastered.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/images/holocaust/aucrem1.jpg


After the war, the Museum carried out a partial reconstruction. The chimney and two incinerators were rebuilt using original components, as were and several of the openings in the gas chamber roof.

Bunker No. 1


When larger Jewish transports were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp in the first half of 1942, the Nazis began using - in addition to the first operational gas chamber - two provisional gas chambers set up in farmhouses whose owners had been evicted from the village of Brzezinka.

Jewish men, women, and children, as well as Polish political prisoners selected by physicians in the camp hospital, were killed with poison gas in Bunker No. 1, which was also known as "the little red house" (because of its brick walls). The bunker contained two provisional gas chambers. It operated from the early months of 1942 until the spring and summer of 1943, when four new buildings with gas chambers and crematorium furnaces came into use in Birkenau concentration camp. At that time, Bunker No. 1 was demolished and the adjacent burning pits were filled in and landscaped.


Bunker No. 2


When larger Jewish transports were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp in the first part of 1942, the Nazis began using - in addition to the first operational gas chamber - two provisional gas chambers set up in farmhouses belonging to people who had been expelled from the village of Brzezinka.

Jewish men, women, and children, as well as Polish political prisoners selected by physicians in the camp hospital, were killed with poison gas in Bunker No. 2, which was also known as "the little white house" (because of the color of the plaster covering its walls). The bunker contained four provisional gas chambers, which operated from 1942 four new buildings with gas chambers and crematorium furnaces came into use in Birkenau concentration camp in the spring and summer of 1943. In the period when the Germans needed additional gas chambers for the destruction of the Jews deported from Hungary in 1944, they temporarily put Bunker No. 2 back into operation.



http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/images/holocaust/aucrem2.jpg

Crematorium II


The Crematorium II building, which contained a gas chamber and furnaces for burning corpses. Several hundred thousand Jewish men, women and children were murdered here with poison gas, and their bodies burned. The bodies of Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners who died in the concentration camp were also burned here. According to calculations by the German authorities, 1,440 corpses could be burned in this crematorium every 24 hours. According to the testimony of former prisoners, the figure was higher.

The gas chamber and Crematorium II functioned from March 1943 through November 1944.

At the end of the war, in connection with the operation intended to remove the evidence of their crimes, the camp authorities ordered the demolition of the furnaces and crematorium building in November 1944. On January 20, 1945, the SS blew up whatever had not been removed.

Crematorium III


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/images/holocaust/aucrem3.jpg

The Crematorium III building, which contained a gas chamber and furnaces for burning corpses. Several hundred thousand Jewish men, women and children were murdered here with poison gas, and their bodies burned. The bodies of Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners who died in the concentration camp were also burned here. According to calculations by the German authorities, 1,440 corpses could be burned in this crematorium every 24 hours. According to the testimony of former prisoners, the figure was higher.

The gas chamber and Crematorium III functioned from June 1943 through November 1944.

At the end of the war, in connection with the operation intended to remove the evidence of their crimes, the camp authorities ordered the demolition of the furnaces and crematorium building in November 1944. On January 20, 1945, the SS blew up whatever had not been removed.

Crematorium IV


The Crematorium IV building, which contained a gas chamber and furnaces for burning corpses.

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Thousands of Jewish men, women and children were murdered here with poison gas, and their bodies burned.

The bodies of Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners who died in the concentration camp were also burned here. According to calculations by the German authorities, 768 corpses could be burned in this crematorium every 24 hours. According to the testimony of former prisoners, the figure was higher.

The apparatus of mass murder in this building functioned, with interruptions, from March 1943 until October 7, 1944. The building was burned down on the day of the mutiny of the Jewish prisoners from the Sonderkommando.

Crematorium V


The Crematorium V building contained a gas chamber and furnaces for burning corpses. Thousands of Jewish men, women and children were murdered here with poison gas, and their bodies burned.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/images/holocaust/gas5.jpg


The bodies of Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners who died in the concentration camp were also burned here. According to calculations by the German authorities, 768 corpses could be burned in this crematorium every 24 hours. According to the testimony of former prisoners, the figure was higher.

At times, the bodies of the people who had been murdered were also burned on pyres in pits located near Crematorium V and the so-called bunkers.

The apparatus of mass murder in this building functioned, with interruptions, from April 1943 until January 1945. In connection with the operation intended to remove the evidence of their crimes, the SS blew up the building on January 26, 1945.

The Versailles Treaty


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By Jennifer Rosenberg

20th Century History Expert

The Versailles Treaty, signed on June 28, 1919, was the peace settlement between Germany and the Allied Powers that officially ended World War I. However, the conditions in the treaty were so punitive upon Germany that many believe the Versailles Treaty laid the groundwork for the eventual rise of Nazis in Germany and the eruption of World War II.


Debated at the Paris Peace Conference


The details of the Versailles Treaty had been debated and finalized at the Paris Peace Conference, which opened on January 18, 1919 - just over two months after the fighting on the Western Front ended. Although many diplomats from the Allied Powers participated, Germany was not invited to the conference. The "big three" who were the most influential in the debates were Prime Minister David Lloyd George of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau of France, and President Woodrow Wilson of the United States.

On May 7, 1919, the Versailles Treaty was handed over to Germany with the express instructions that they had only three weeks in which to accept the Treaty. Considering that in many ways the Versailles Treaty was meant to punish Germany, Germany of course found much fault with the Versailles Treaty. Although Germany sent back a list of complaints over the Treaty, the Allied Powers ignored most of them.


The Versailles Treaty: A Very Long Document


The Versailles Treaty itself is very long and extensive document, made up of 440 Articles (plus Annexes) which have been divided into 15 parts. The first part of the Versailles Treaty established the League of Nations. Other parts included the terms of military limitations, prisoners of war, finances, access to ports and waterways, and reparations.

Versailles Treaty Terms Spark Controversy


The most controversial aspects of the Versailles Treaty were that Germany was to take full responsibility for the damage caused during World War I (known as the "war guilt" clause, Article 231), the major land concessions forced upon Germany (including the loss of all her colonies), the limitation of the German army to 100,000 men, and the extremely large sum in reparations Germany was to pay to the Allied Powers.

The terms of the Versailles Treaty were so seemingly hostile to Germany that German Chancellor Philipp Scheidemann resigned rather than sign it. However, Germany realized they had to sign it for they no longer had any military power left to resist.



Versailles Treaty Signed

On June 28, 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Germany's representatives Hermann Müller and Johannes Bell signed the Versailles Treaty in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles near Paris, France.

http://history1900s.about.com/od/worldwari/p/Versailles-Treaty.htm

Ghettoschildren eating in the ghetto streets. warsaw, poland, between 1940 and 1943.

The term "ghetto" originated from the name of the Jewish quarter in Venice, established in 1516, in which the Venetian authorities compelled the city's Jews to live. Various officials, ranging from local municipal authorities to the Austrian Emperor Charles V, ordered the creation of ghettos for Jews in Frankfurt, Rome, Prague, and other cities in the 16th and 17th centuries.




Children eating in the ghetto streets. Warsaw, Poland, between 1940 and 1943. — US Holocaust Memorial Muse If viewing virtually click on picture to see more ghetto photos.
DURING WORLD WAR II
During World War II, ghettos were city districts (often enclosed) in which the Germans concentrated the municipal and sometimes regional Jewish population and forced them to live under miserable conditions. Ghettos isolated Jews by separating Jewish communities from the non-Jewish population and from other Jewish communities. The Germans established at least 1,000 ghettos in German-occupied and annexed Poland and the Soviet Union alone. German occupation authorities established the first ghetto in Poland in Piotrków Trybunalski in October 1939.

The Germans regarded the establishment of ghettos as a provisional measure to control and segregate Jews while the Nazi leadership in Berlin deliberated upon options to realize the goal of removing the Jewish population. In many places ghettoization lasted a relatively short time. Some ghettos existed for only a few days, others for months or years. With the implementation of the "Final Solution" (the plan to murder all European Jews) beginning in late 1941, the Germans systematically destroyed the ghettos. The Germans and their auxiliaries either shot ghetto residents in mass graves located nearby or deported them, usually by train, to killing centers where they were murdered. German SS and police authorities deported a small minority of Jews from ghettos to forced-labor camps and concentration camps.

There were three types of ghettos: closed ghettos, open ghettos, and destruction ghettos.

The largest ghetto in Poland was the Warsaw ghetto, where more than 400,000 Jews were crowded into an area of 1.3 square miles. Other major ghettos were established in the cities of Lodz, Krakow, Bialystok, Lvov, Lublin, Vilna, Kovno, Czestochowa, and Minsk. Tens of thousands of western European Jews were also deported to ghettos in the east.




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DAILY LIFE
 
The Germans ordered Jews residing in ghettos to wear identifying badges or armbands and also required many Jews to perform forced labor for the German Reich. Daily life in the ghettos was administered by Nazi-appointed Jewish councils (Judenraete). A ghetto police force enforced the orders of the German authorities and the ordinances of the Jewish councils, including the facilitation of deportations to killing centers. Jewish police officials, like Jewish council members, served at the whim of the German authorities. The Germans did not hesitate to kill Jewish policemen who were perceived to have failed to carry out orders. view personal histories


RESISTANCE EFFORTS

 
Jews responded to the ghetto restrictions with a variety of resistance efforts. Ghetto residents frequently engaged in so-called illegal activities, such as smuggling food, medicine, weapons or intelligence across the ghetto walls, often without the knowledge or approval of the Jewish councils. Some Jewish councils and some individual council members tolerated or encouraged the illicit trade because the goods were necessary to keep ghetto residents alive. Although the Germans generally demonstrated little concern in principle about religious worship, attendance at cultural events, or participation in youth movements inside the ghetto walls, they often perceived a “security threat” in any social gathering and would move ruthlessly to incarcerate or kill perceived ringleaders and participants. The Germans generally forbade any form of consistent schooling or education.

In some ghettos, members of Jewish resistance movements staged armed uprisings. The largest of these was the Warsaw ghetto uprising in spring 1943. There were also violent revolts in Vilna, Bialystok, Czestochowa, and several smaller ghettos. In August 1944, German SS and police completed the destruction of the last major ghetto, in Lodz.




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IN HUNGARY
 
In Hungary, ghettoization did not begin until the spring of 1944, after the Germans invaded and occupied the country. In less than three months, the Hungarian gendarmerie, in coordination with German deportation experts from the Reich Main Office for Security (Reichssicherheitshauptamt-RSHA), concentrated nearly 440,000 Jews from all over Hungary, except for the capital city, Budapest, in short-term “destruction ghettos” and deported them into German custody at the Hungarian border. The Germans deported most of the Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center. In Budapest, Hungarian authorities required the Jews to confine themselves to marked houses (so-called Star of David houses). A few weeks after the leaders of the fascist Arrow Cross movement seized power in a German-sponsored coup on October 15, 1944, the Arrow Cross government formally established a ghetto in Budapest, in which about 63,000 Jews lived in a 0.1 square mile area. Approximately 25,000 Jews who carried certificates that they stood under the protection of a neutral power were confined in an "international ghetto" at another location in the city. In January 1945, Soviet forces liberated that part of Budapest in which the two ghettos were, respectively, located and liberated the nearly 90,000 Jewish residents. view historical film footage

During the Holocaust, ghettos were a central step in the Nazi process of control, dehumanization, and mass murder of the Jews.



Related Articles

  • Killing Centers: An Overview

  • "Final Solution": Overview

  • Forced Labor: An Overview

  • An Overview of the Holocaust: Topics to Teach

  • Types of Ghettos

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Introduction to the Holocaust.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143. Accessed on 12-11-14.




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