Some historians believe that Hitler’s grandfather was Jewish. His Grandmother used to work for a rich Jewish landowner in Austria and it is believed that she had an affair whilst she worked as his house keeper. He later helped his son get a job as a civil servant. Some Psychologist but this down as being one of the possible reasons why Hitler hated Jews. However, it is interesting to note that the Jewish doctor who helped his mother whilst she was dying of cancer was dropped off at the Swiss boarder by the SS in 1940!
Gypsies-were believed to be inferior, by the Nazi's. Freemasons-were charged by the Nazis as being supporters of the Jewish Conspiracy to rule the world Jehovah Witness members refused to join Hitler’s army and salute him. Homosexuals were some of the first to be arrested after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany Forced sterilizations-a person was diagnosed with feeblemindness, Operation T4-the killing of patients in hospitals and institutions. Operation 14f13-psychiatrists were sent to camps, and ordered to weed out those too week to work. Unfit to be part of the master race.
SLIDE 25 - PEOPLE LOADING ON TO TRAINS
Trains used to transport the Jews to the camps. Boxcars built to hold 8 horses or 40 people were used to transport no fewer than 100 people, often as many as 200 people, were jammed into a boxcar Crowded conditions – You could not sit down; no food, no water, no lights and no bathrooms. The people who were crushed to death were left on board with the living until the boxcar reached the camp. The only fresh air came from a small vent at one end of the boxcar or a small window at the other end. The train rides could last days. Thousands died - because the people coming from the ghettos were already malnourished or diseased and could not survive the transport.
Forgotten Voice: Jan Hartman, pg. 162
Crematoriums were large furnaces used to kill victims; not only was it used for dead bodies but alive ones also. They would be burnt into ashes and this was an ongoing process to kill non-Aryans. There were a total of 5 crematoriums which operated in Auschwitz-Birkenau and in a 24-hour-period, about 800-1,500 bodies were burnt.
The photograph above shows the reconstructed entrance to one of the 4 standing cells (Stehzellen) in the basement of Block II, where prisoners were sent for extreme punishment. These cells were 3 feet square and had no light coming in at all, nor any heating or cooling system. Prisoners had to crawl into the cell through a tiny door, as shown in the photo above. There was just enough room for four slender men to stand without touching each other. There was no room to lie down, but if the prisoners cooperated, one prisoner could sit down while the other three crowded closer together. The floors of these cells were covered with excrement left by the occupants. Prisoners who were being punished were put into these cells at night, and in the morning taken out to perform a full 10-hour day of work. This punishment was usually given to prisoners who had tried to sabatoge the work done in the factories at Auschwitz. Prisoners who escaped and were caught were put into these cells and left to die.
At the far end of a long, narrow courtyard between Block 10 and Block 11 at the Auschwitz I camp is a brick wall which connects the two buildings. In front of this brick wall, the Nazis placed another removable wall, constructed out of logs and covered with cork painted black; the ends of the wall were angled slightly toward the center. The purpose of the black wall was to protect the beautiful brick wall behind it from bullet holes. If you want to walk where millions of people have trod, including the famous and the infamous, this is the place. Into this courtyard have walked most of the world leaders of the Twentieth Century, carrying a wreath of flowers to place in front of the black wall where the victims of the ruthless Nazis were shot over half a century ago. It was in front of this black wall that political prisoners, mostly Poles, who had been convicted by the Gestapo Summary Court, were executed. These prisoners were brought to the Auschwitz I camp, but were not registered as inmates; they were housed in dormitory rooms on the first and second floors of Block 11 while they awaited trial in a courtroom set up in the building. After they were convicted, the prisoners were taken to a small washroom in the building where they were ordered to strip naked, after which they were marched to the wall in groups of three and executed with one shot to the neck at close range. Some of the prisoners, who were sent here, were Czech resistance fighters from the Gestapo prison at the Small Fortress in Theresienstadt. The picture above shows some artwork done by a survivor of the camp, after he was liberated. He has depicted an execution scene at the black wall with a uniformed SS man shooting three prisoners while other SS officers look on. Two camp inmates carry the bodies from the wall and add them to the pile in the foreground; it was the Jews who were assigned to do this work. To the left in the picture is an object made out of logs which was not at the wall when I was there. This is the portable gallows which was used to hang political prisoners in the camp
Forgotten Voices: John Fink, pg. 246
How did they manage to get together all these Jews to kills them? How did they kill them when they had them? To begin with there were concentration camps.
World war ii
The Road to World War II
January 1933: Hitler became Chancellor of
• Adolf Hitler was born April 20, 1889 in a small town called Braunau Am Inn,
• Young Adolf attended church regularly, sang in the local choir and spent
hours playing “cowboys and Indians”. He grew up with a bad name at school
and left before completing his high school terms, because he wanted to be an
• During his lifetime, Hitler was very secretive about his background. He never
give his father’s real occupation. He said he was a postal official. He didn’t like
his relatives to come near him or visit.
•Hitler’s mom died of cancer when he was nineteen. Hitler loved his mother so much.
Her Jewish doctor said,” I have never witnessed a closer attachment.” Hitler carried a
picture of her down to his last days in the bunker.
How did WWI Influence Hitler?
He served in German Army:
wounded and received two Iron Crosses
His First success in his life
Blamed Germany’s defeat on Jews
The Nazi Party’s Rise to Power:
1928 - Hitler’s Nazi Party
was a small, insignificant
party- had little success in
By 1933 however Hitler
was the chancellor of
The Nazi’s had risen from
obscurity to power, total
What Did The Nazi Stand For
Hitler soon ordered a programme of
Hitler visits a factory and is enthusiastically greeted. Many
Germans were grateful for jobs after the misery of he
What did Hitler offer to the German
Nationalists - Restore Germany to
An end unemployment
•Blamed Others for Germany’s
How does Hitler become Chancellor?
“Brownshirts”– Hitler’s private army
Used speeches and propaganda to gain
Nazi Party gains votes in Reichtag (German
1930 = 18% of vote
1932 = 37% of vote
Hitler appointed Chancellor (Prime
Minister) in 1933
What actions did Hitler take The
Rebuilt Army & Opened Weapons
Stopped reparations payments
New Jobs - military sector
Began planning for expansion of the Third
Hitler’s Destruction of Jews
• Adolf Hitler, murderer of millions, or known as master of destruction and
organized insanity. Hitler was seized by an obsession with the Jews all his life.
The Nazi Führer had always been straightforward about his plans - his dream
of a racially "pure" empire would tolerate no Jews. He announced at many
occasions the "annihilation of the Jews" living in the territory under his control.
• In Hitler's mind, murdering millions of Jews could only be accomplished under
the confusion of war, from the beginning he was planning a war.
• The European Jews were the primary victims of Adolf Hitler. In 1933 nine
million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by
Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had
What was “MasterJewish Problem?
the Race” –
Hitler’s belief that Aryan German’s were the
blond hair, blue eyes.
Blamed Germany’s problems on the Jewish
Racism and propaganda used to create distrust and hatred
against Jews and non-Aryans.
PROGRESSION OF DISCRIMINATION
The NAZI party and Adolf Hitler seized power
in 1933. they slowly began their program against
the Jews of Germany
In 1933 there were 566,000 Jews living in
Each new year in Germany led to harsher
policies directed towards the Jews.
Stripping of Rights
Nuremberg Laws (1935)
stated that all German JEWS were :
stripped of German citizenship
fired from jobs & businesses
banned from schools & universities
marriages between Jews and Aryans
forced to carry ID cards
Passports stamped with a “J”
forced to wear the arm band of the
Yellow “Star of David”
Jewish synagogues destroyed
forced to pay reparations and a
special income tax
Boycott of Jewish Businesses
1933 - Germany
Sets up idea that Jews are not
Germans and isolates
SA pickets, wearing boycott signs, block the entrance to
a Jewish-owned shop. The signs read: "Germans, defend
yourselves against the Jewish atrocity propaganda, buy
only at German shops!" and "Germans, defend
yourselves, buy only at German shops!"
SS Deathshead division is created to guard camps
Heinreich Himmler is appointed Chief of the German
Olympic games in Berlin, Jews treated better for two days
German troops marched into the Rhineland
The Rhineland was a region of
Germany that was ‘demilitarised’
after the Treaty of Versailles.
Germany was not allowed to have
troops in the region.
Hitler’s actions showed how he
was willing to directly challenge
Jews are not allowed to teach Germans
not allowed to be accountants or dentists
“Eternal Jew” exhibit opened in Germany
this promoted stereo-types of Jews and warned Germans
League of Nations considers helping Jews fleeing Hitler, but
no country will take them
Jews are not allowed to practice medicine
March 1938: Nazi Germany
Again, this went
against the terms of
the Treaty of Versailles
Germany from uniting
However, the arrival of
German troops was
met with great
enthusiasm by many
Kristallnacht Night of Broken GlassNovember 9-10, 1938.
• on the “Night of Broken Glass” Jewish shops and synagogues are
damaged, destroyed and looted
• 26,000 Jews are arrested, 91 die
• further economic and political persecution of Jews would follow
• it marks the ominous beginning of the Holocaust
Did you know?
Kristallnacht was not just
This picture is typical of
the smashed windows of
Jewish businesses on
staged without planning,
but served a specific
purpose in Nazi policy
toward the Jews. The SA
was under strict orders to
confiscate any firearms
owned by Jews when
ransacking Jewish homes
and businesses. This would
prevent any significant
armed resistance to Nazi
policies in the future.
November 1938. Jews arrested during Kristallnacht line up for roll
call at the Buchenwald concentration camp
The German reaction to Kristallnacht
In response to the events of Kristallnacht the Jews were fined 25 million
marks to repair the property damaged during the night and an additional 1
This succeeded in removing a significant amount of the wealth that the
German Jews had managed to hold on to through the rising prejudice
Other countries were aware of these policies, however did not wish to
interfere as that was considered inappropriate involvement in the
operation of another nation
The Jews of Germany began to flee if they could by every means available,
however this was hampered by the German annexation of Czechoslovakia
, Austria and Poland which meant that many of the Jews that escaped the
Germans following the Nuremberg laws and Kristallnacht soon found
themselves again under Nazi control
March 1939: Germany invaded
Hitler had ordered the
occupation of a part of
Czechoslovakia known as the
Sudetenland (in October
1938). Many hoped that that
this would be the last conquest
of the Nazis.
However, in March 1939, he
ordered his troops to take over
the remainder of
Czechoslovakia. This was the
first aggressive step that
suggested that a war in
Europe would soon begin.
August 1939: Germany and Russia signed a non-aggression pact
Hitler and Stalin (the Russian
leader) signed a ‘nonaggression pact’.
They promised that neither
country would attack the other
in the event of war.
As part of the deal, Hitler
promised Stalin part of Poland,
which he planned to invade
This photo shows the Russian foreign minister
signing the pact, whilst Stalin stands smiling in
The non-aggression pact was surprising. Hitler and Stalin were seen as natural enemies.
When Hitler talked of taking over new land for Germany, many thought that he meant Russia.
Hitler also hated Communism, the form of government in Russia
September 1939: Germany invaded Poland
But, the pact allowed
Germany to march into
Poland without fear of
an attack from Russia.
On 3rd September 1939,
Poland and started a
War with Britain and
German troops marching
into Warsaw, the capital
May 1940: Germany turned west and
invaded France and the Netherlands
In May 1940, Germany
used Blitzkrieg tactics to
attack France and the
British troops were
forced to retreat from the
beaches of Dunkirk in
troops, May 1940
By June 1940, France had surrendered to the
Britain now stood alone
as the last remaining
enemy of Hitler’s
Germany in Western
Adolf Hitler tours Paris after his
September 1940-May 1941: the Blitz
For the following nine months, the German
air force (Luftwaffe) launched repeated
bombing raids on British towns and cities.
This was known as the BLITZ and was an
attempt to bomb Britain into submission.
Operation Barbarossa, June 1941
But in May, 1941, Hitler ordered a change of tactics. He decided to halt the
bombing of Britain and launch an attack against Russia. He betrayed Stalin
and ignored the promises he had made.
This was a bold move that would prove to be an important turning point
in the War.
German Jews are deported to Poland
Total of 600,000 Jews
Nazis invade the Soviet Union
Jewish population of 3 million
Hitler issues infamous “Commissar Order”
SS Einsatzgruppen follow advance of German Army
First used in Poland when
Nazi’s invaded in 1939
Areas where Jews were forced
to live in certain cities.
Comparable to prisons
Everyone was put to work
for the Nazis
Many people died from the
labor, conditions, and
356 ghettos in Poland, the
Soviet Union, the Baltic States,
Czechoslovakia, Romania, and
Hungary were established by
the Nazi’s between the years
1935 and 1940.
Warsaw, the largest ghetto, existed of
about half a million people, and Lódz,
the second largest ghetto, had 160,000
On the other hand, the smallest ghetto
only held 3,000 hostages.
The Nazi’s Point of View
The Nazi’s considered the Jews to
be natural carriers of all diseases,
These excuses gave them the right
to move the Jews away from the
Polish population and into Jewish
The Jews were thankful that they
were going to be safe.
Little did they know they were
headed to an experience of a life
Through all this torture there was
still room for a smile…
Most of the larger cities closed the ghettos in
with either stone or brick wall, wooden
fences, or even barbed wire.
For once the victims stepped into the ghetto
or death camp, there was no leaving.
Otherwise if someone tried to escape there
was a death penalty.
The Warsaw ghetto had a wall ten feet high
topped with barbed wire at the top.
Warsaw Ghetto Facts
The Warsaw ghetto was the largest ghetto with about half a
million people held there.
Warsaw was established on October 2, 1940.
Jews were forced to work in a metal shop under terrible
conditions along with other tiring jobs.
Only 300 calories of food were offered daily by carrying your
ration card. (see next slide)
The food and water was unsanitary.
While overcrowding, rampant diseases, and starvation were also
To help families with money, children were found selling books
on the streets.
Only 113,000 poles were evacuated from this area in order to
create The Warsaw Ghetto.
Located in impoverished part of
Dilapidated housing with no
electricity or water.
30% of the population squeezed
in 2.4% of the city’s area.
Population density: 9.2 people
128,000 people per square
Warsaw and Lodz housed 1/3 of
the Polish Jews under Nazi
Lack of food a major problem.
Malnutrition and disease rampant.
“The situation in the Jewish
quarter is catastrophic. The
corpses of those who have died of
starvation lie in the streets. The
death rate, 80% from malnutrition,
has tripled since February. The
only thing that is issued to the
Jews is 1.5 lbs of bread per
week…” Oberfeldkommandant, May
A tram at the entrance to
the Warsaw Ghetto
Why did the Nazis create
To thwart the black
To thwart Jewish
To stop the spread of
The Warsaw Uprising
On April 19, the first
night of Passover, Nazi
soldiers arrived in the
ghetto to deport more
They were greeted with
pistol shots and hand
A man carries away the bodies of dead Jews in the Ghetto of Warsaw in 1943, where
people died of hunger in the streets.
What tactics did the Nazis use to get
the Jews to leave the Ghettos?
The Jews were told
that they were going
areas’ in the East.
In some Ghettos
the Jews had to
own train tickets.
They were told
to bring the
tools of their
trade and pots
New arrivals at the
Death camps were
given postcards to
send to their friends.
The Jews in the
Warsaw Ghetto were
only fed a 1000
calories a day .
A Human being needs
2400 calories a day to
maintain their weight
The SS publicly shot people
for smuggling food or for
any act of resistance
Hungry people are
easier to control
Final Solution- the deliberate and
systematic killing of an entire
Phase 1 = Shooting
Jews were rounded up
and told they were to be
They were taken to the
woods and were shot
one by one
their bodies were buried
in mass graves
Phase 2 = Gas Vans
Again, Jews were
rounded up and told
they were to be
relocated in vans
The vans were
equipped so that the
van’s exhaust was piped
back into the van
700,000 Jews killed in Vans
Phase 3 = The Camps
Nazi leaders decided to drastically speed up the
there were two different types of camps:
Jews from all over occupied Europe were to be
What is Hitler’s Master Race
Aryan or master Race,
Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes,
this race is superior and
must be preserved. All
other races were deemed
Why did the Germans persecute these
Hitler needed a to blame
problems in Europe on
somebody. So he chose
the JewsAnti Semitism- (hatred
of the Jews)-had existed
in Europe for some
time-Hitler blamed Jews
Women, children, the
old & the sick were to
be sent for ‘special
The young and fit would go
through a process called
‘destruction through work.’
On arrival the Jews
would go through a
How was the Final
Solution going to
Jews were to be
areas’ in the
Conditions in the Ghettos were
designed to be so bad that many
die whilst the rest would be
willing to leave these areas in the
hope of better conditions
Shooting was too
inefficient as the bullets
were needed for the war
Jews were to be
rounded up and put
into transit camps
The Jews living in
these Ghettos were to
be used as a cheap
source of labor.
How did the Nazi decide who
At the Wannsee conference it was
decided that if one of person’s
parents was Jewish, then they were
However, if only one of their
grandparents had been Jewish then
they could be classified as being
In 1940, all Jews had to have their
passports stamped with the letter ‘J’
and had to wear the yellow Star of
David on their jacket or coat.
Why did Germans persecute these groups:
Gypsies,Freemasons, Jehovah’s Witness &
Why did Germans persecute these
groups: Mentally Deficient/ill & Physically
100 of these in Nazi-occupied Europe
prisoners used for forced labor
communists, homosexuals, criminals, socialdemocrats, hande capt and the elerdly.
prisoners usually lasted less than 1/2 year.
Befor there deamded un fit to work and are
First camp was opened in 1933, right after
Nazis came to power
What happened to new arrivals?
All new arrivals went
through a process
known as ‘selection.’
Mothers, children, the
old & sick were sent
straight to the
‘showers’ which were
really the gas
chambers. Descised as
The able bodied were
sent to work camp
were they were killed
through a process
known as ‘destruction
At Auschwitz the trains
pulled into a mock up
of a normal station.
At Auschwitz the new
arrivals were calmed
down by a Jewish
The Jews were
helped off the cattle
trucks by Jews who
selected to help the
At some death camps
the Nazis would play
records of classical
music to help calm
down the new arrivals.
What Were the Conditions Like?
• In the beginning, most of the work done in labor camps was
As the German economy began to experience labor shortages, the Nazis
started exploiting these slave laborers for the production of goods like iron or
• skilled people could get jobs based on there skills
• Nearly all of the work was manual and labor intensive
• Hours were long, usually 12 or more
• Workers weren't adequately fed and had little to no tools or protective
• Jobs were hazardous and dangerous (accidents, dust inhalation, ect.)
• Generally, inmates preferred factory jobs over building/digging jobs
• "A daily ration was: a piece of black bread, about as thick as your thumb; some
margarine about the size of three sticks of chewing gum; and a small cup of
something that was supposed to be soup".
If you were chosen for work, you
were forced through a humiliating
process. All clothing and personal
belongings were taken from the
prisoners, and their hair was
shaved off. They were given a
striped uniform and a pair or shoes
that were most likely the wrong
size. When the prisoners were
registered, they were given a
number, which was tattooed on
their arm. Auschwitz was the only
camp to use this method of
identification. They began
tattooing the number onto the left
forearm in 1943.
prisoners had to stand
for roll call (Appell.)
They could stand for
hours in extreme heat
or cold, if someone was
missing. They had to
stand for roll call again
in the evening, after
returning from work.
After roll call, prisoners
were put to work. Usually
it was hard labor that took
place outside in harsh
conditions. Some prisoners
did work inside factories,
though the work was still
difficult. While working,
Nazi guards kept a close
eye on the prisoners.
Prisoners work on a hospital for the SS.
Life in a Concentration Camp
A prisoner in Dachau is forced
to stand without moving for
endless hours as a punishment.
He is wearing a triangle patch
identification on his chest.
A chart of prisoner triangle
identification markings used in
Nazi concentration camps
which allowed the guards to
easily see which type of
prisoner any individual was.
Destruction Through Work
This photo was
taken by the Nazis
to show just how
you could quite
literally work the
fat of the Jews by
feeding them 200
calories a day
Same group of
Jews 6 weeks
What did they do with babys?
They were killed upon arrival.
When they arrived with their mothers at the camps, they
were gassed with their mothers. Before the death camps got
gas chambers, they were shot with their mothers.
Sometimes the ss would grab them by there leg and rip them
in half then throw then on the fire.
Other times they were thrown alive
onto the fire.
Children born in the camp were
generally killed on the spot with the
When the Killing Started
The genocide (killing) of the Jews did not officially start until after the Wannsee
Conference, where the plans for the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question"
were decided. The meeting was led by Reinhard von Heydrich.
The Wannee Conference: On January, 20, 1942, Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler's
second in command of the SS, began the Wannsee Conference in Berlin with 15
top Nazi bureaucrats to organize the Final Solution in which the Nazis would
attempt to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe, an estimated 11
The exact date of Hitler's order to exterminate the Jews is unknown, but on July
31, 1941, the order was given to begin the process.
Train to the Death Camps
What were death camps?
Death camps were constructed with only one purpose: to mass murder Jews and
other “ unwanted” people .
Death camps worked effectively and efficiently at minimal physical and
psychological cost to the Germans
-it could kill tens of thousands of prisoners each month
“Another possible solution to the [Jewish]
question has now taken the place of
emigration, i.e., evacuation to the east.…
Practical experience is already being collected
which is of the greatest importance in the
relation to the future final solution of the
Jewish question.” (Britannica Concise
[All understood “ evacuation to the east” meant
deportation to killing centers]
Three types of Death Camps
Aktion Reinhardt extermination camps: Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec,
where prisoners were promptly killed upon arrival. Initially, the camps
used carbon monoxide gas chambers; at first, the corpses were buried,
but then incinerated atop pyres. Later, gas chambers and crematoria were
built in Treblinka and Belzec; Zyklon-B was used in Belzec.
Concentration–extermination camps where some prisoners were
selected for slave labor, instead of immediate death; they were kept alive
as camp inmates, available to work wherever the Nazis required. These
camps — including Auschwitz, Majdanek, and Jasenovac — later were
retrofitted with Zyklon-B gas chambers and crematoria, remaining
operational until war's end in 1945.
Minor extermination camps such as Sajmiste in Serbia, Maly
Trostenets in the USSR, Janowska, in Poland, and Gornija Rijeka,
initially operated as prisons and transit camps, then as extermination
camps late in the war, using portable gas-chambers and gas vans.
What wer e t he killing
met hods in deat h camps?
Inhuman living conditions
Disease and epidemic
GAS USED TO KILL
Open, public killings of Jews
Mainly occurred once Germany invaded the USSR.
Coordinated between SS (German Secret Police) and the local populations
Estimated at least 2.2 million people were killed this way
The Jews were herded into the gas chambers,
then the camp personnel closed the doors, and
either exhaust gas or poison gas in the form of
Zyklon A or B was led into the gas chamber.
Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest killing
center and an estimated 1 to 2 million were
The first gassing experiments involved 250
Polish and 600 Soviet POWs and they started
as early as September 1941.
Majdenak began the gassings in October 1942
and functioned the same way as AuschwitzBirkenau.
Here is what the
inside of a gas
chamber looks like
where they killed Jews
in mass numbers
Processing the bodies
Specially selected Jews
known as the
used to to remove the gold
fillings and hair of people
who had been gassed.
The Sonderkommando Jews
were also forced to feed the
dead bodies into the
Survivors in Mauthausen open one of the crematoria
ovens for American troops who are inspecting the
Germans killed a huge number of
people at the same time by shooting at
them. Mass killings were quite often
1.5 million Jews were shot in the
most brutal way by Nazis.
In Majdanek, on November 3,
1943 and November 4, between
17,000 and 18,000 Jews were killed
in one day as part of a mass shooting.
This was known as "harvest feast “
Jews were forced to dig their own
graves and they would eventually be
shot to fall into their grave.
Prisoners were sent to gas chambers
disguised as showers
Zyklon B gas used to gas people in 3
– 15 minutes
Up to 8,000 people were gassed per
day at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the
largest death camp with 4 operating
Gold fillings from victims teeth were
melted down to make gold bars
Prisoners moved dead bodies to
6 Extermination Camps
Started its mass killings operations in January 1940 and continued until
1943. 2 million Jews were killed a Auschwitz back in it’s day.
The Auschwitz concentration camp complex consisted of three main
camps, all of which where designed to kill mass amounts of Jews at once...
The SS authorities established three main camps: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz
II (also called Auschwitz-Birkenau) and Auschwitz III (also called
Auschwitz-Monowitz) in October 1942
In November 1943, the SS decreed that Auschwitz-Birkenau and
Auschwitz-Monowitz would become independent concentration camps.
In November 1944, Auschwitz II was reunified with Auschwitz I.
had 4 gas chambers/crematories by 1943
mass killings with Zyklon B gas
recorded 12,000 kills in one day
Auschwitz I had a gas chamber crematorium. SS engineers
constructed an improvised gas chamber in the basement of the
prison Block 11. Later a three larger, permanent gas chamber was
constructed as part of the original crematorium in a separate building
outside the prisoner compound.
At Auschwitz I, SS physicians carried out medical experiments in the
hospital, Barrack (Block) 10. The physicians was SS Captain Dr.
Between the crematorium and the medical-experiments barrack
stood the "Black Wall," where SS guards executed thousands of
Nazi Medical Experiments
The Nazi doctors were infamous for performing cruel
medical experiments on innocent people in the name of
science, when in fact many of these experiments were not
beneficial to the medical field at all. Many twisted the
Hippocratic Oath to make it seem like what they were
doing was not immoral. However, some of these
experiments did lead to new medical discoveries. But did
these discoveries justify the horrible treatment of innocent
•Josef was born in the Bavarian village in Gunzburg Germany.
•Josef’s father, Karl, ran a plant that made and manufactured farming
•Josef’s mother Walburga, had a terrible temper and was prone to
physically disciplining her three sons and even the workers in her
•Walburga had complete control over the household and ruled it with an
•Had two brothers, Karl and Alois.
•Josef was the eldest of the three.
•In 1926 he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis.
•In 1935 he received PhD from the University of Munich.
•In May of 1938 Mengele was admitted into the SS.
•July of 1939 married Irene Schoenbein.
• May 30, 1943 he arrived at Auschwitz
•In grade school, Josef was never at the top of his class, but he did well and
•Josef’s father wanted him to inherit the factory, but Josef wanted to go to
school to become a doctor.
•In 1930 Josef graduated form Gunzburg High School and passes the
preliminary test that allowed him to enter college.
•Josef was then accepted into the University of Munich where he majored in
philosophy and medicine.
•While studying at Munich, Mengele heard his first Hitler speech and was then
affiliated with the Nazi party.
•Josef saw Hitler’s movement as a chance for him to advance his career and
gain the fame and respect he believed he deserved and had earned.
After joining the “Steel Helmets”, Mengele then began to study anthropology
and paleontology as well as medicine.
Josef attended lectures of Dr. Ernst Rudin who believed in the theory of
“unworthy life” which, simply put, was that some lives were not worth living and
undeserved. It was at these lectures that Mengele decided he wanted to help
with the purification of the German race.
Mengele believed that twins held the secrets to things
like genetics and heredity. Concentration camps seemed
like a great place for him to find these twin
“specimens”.At selection twins where constantly
•Mengele was a
constant presence at
selection,even when it
wasn’t his day. No
twins could be missed
coming off the trains.
•Twins weren’t the
only people Mengele
took an interest
in. He also had
his men look for
dwarfs, giants and
people with other
•If twins were found they were immediately moved while everyone else
was sent to their deaths.(if the twins were real young the mother would
sometimes accompany them)
(Out of the 3 thousand twins found only about 200 survived)
•When the twins were found, they were taken away from their parents.
•After the twins had been taken from their parents, they were taken to the
•Since they were "Mengele's children," they were treated differently than other
prisoners. Besides the obvious, suffering through medical experiments
•The twins were often allowed to keep their hair and allowed to keep their own
•The twins were then tattooed. They were given a number from a special
•They were then taken to the twin's barracks where they were required to fill out
•Each morning, life for the twins began at six o'clock. The twins were required
to report for roll call in front of their barracks no matter what the weather.
After roll call, they ate a small breakfast. Then each morning, Mengele would
appear for an inspection.
•Conditions for the twins were one of the best in Auschwitz, until the trucks
came to take them to the experiments.
•It was estimated that approximately ten cubic centimeters of blood was drawn
daily. Besides having blood drawn, the twins were to undergo various medical
experiments. Mengele kept his exact reasoning for his experiments a secret.
Many of the twins that he experimented on weren't sure for what purpose the
experiments were for nor what exactly what was being injected or done to
Freezing / Hypothermia
Interrogation and Torture
Killing / Genocide
- Live dissection of a
one year old
1,500 sets of twins collected at Birkenau to
develop a theory of heredity and relation
between disease, racial types, and racial interbreeding
He wanted to discover the genetic key to
creating an “Aryan”
One twin was a control and the other one was
They were called “Mengele’s Children”
Wanted to find a way so that all Aryan women
could assuredly give birth to twins who were sure
to be blonde and blue-eyed
Life of Twins Cont.
Twins had blood drawn everyday
Blood transfusions of blood from 1 twin to
Tried to fabricate blue eyes with
Injected Typhus and Tuberculosis
After one twin dies, the other was killed
to examine and compare
Performed surgeries without anesthesia
including organ removal, castration, and
Autopsies were considered the final
Conducted at Auschwitz and Ravensbruck by Dr. Carl
Tried to develop a method of sterilization for mass
amounts of people with little time or effort.
Some were injected with solutions of iodine and silver
nitrate. (Caused side effects including various types of
cancers.) Other methods included castration,
injections, or invasive surgeries with no anesthesia.
Radiation became the fastest, most effective way to
People were brought into rooms and asked to fill out
forms which only took a few minutes. In this time, the
people were sterilized. Severe radiation burns
They did this to develop and efficient way to keep the
non-Aryan race from reproducing.
Infectious Disease Experiments
Diseases like Typhus, Jaundice and Malaria were
injected into healthy prisoners. Doctors would then try to
find a cure that could help German soldiers who were
infected with these diseases.
Tried to simulate the conditions the military was facing on the
Dr. Sigmund Rasher conducted the experiments at Birkenau,
Dachau, and Auschwitz
Put the victims in ice baths, or put them outside naked in sub
First, they measured how long it took to freeze the
victims to death
Second, they tested ways of resuscitating the victims
These included extremely hot sun lamps, injecting
boiling water into their organs, and giving them warm
Sea Water Experiments
Many German soldiers did not have access to fresh water while
they were on the field. To solve this issue thet wanted to find a way to
make sea water drinkable. Victims of these experiments were deprived
of food and only given chemically processed water. As a result, victims
experienced intense pain and internal damage.
High Altitude Experiments
High altitude experiments were
done to aid German pilots who
had to eject at high altitudes.
Victims were placed in lowpressure chambers that could
mimic conditions of altitudes up
to 66 000 ft. Eventually, the lack
of oxygen in these chambers
would cause the victims brain and
lungs to swell, resulting in death.
Battle Wound Imitations
Doctors wanted to find the best
possible treatment for soldiers suffering
from battle wounds. Victims were
inflicted with wounds so deep that the
bone was showing. From there, doctors
inserted shrapnel into the wound and let
infection take place. Pieces of glass,
shards of wood, dirt and bacteria were
rubbed into the wound to further
aggravate it and better simulate a real
battle wound. Doctors would
experiment with different ‘solutions’
which often only made things worse by
causing intense pain and even death.
Testing of Drugs
Infected victims with malaria, then tested multiple drugs to find
an immunization or treatment
Most patients died either from the disease or from complications
from the drugs
Sulfonamide was tested as a cure for tetanus
Tested at Dachau Concentration Camp
Researchers at Buchenwald concentration camp developed a method of individual
execution by injecting Russian prisoners with phenol and cyanide. Experimenters
also tested various poisons on the human body by secreting noxious chemicals in
prisoners' food or shooting inmates with poison bullets. Victims who did not die
during these experiments were killed to allow the experimenters to perform
Tested at Ravensbruck
Experiments done of the
nerves, bones, and
No anesthesia was used
Also experimented with
nerve, bone, and muscle
Mengele sent hundreds of thousands of Jews to
the gas chambers.
Men, women, children, babies.
One account shows the details of a gruesome act
performed by Mengele.
A mother didn’t want to separate from her daughter
so he sent the whole group he was sent to the gas
The SS abandoned the Auschwitz camp on January 27,
1945, and Mengele transferred to Gross Rosen camp in
Lower Silesia, again working as camp physician.
The unit hurried west to avoid being captured by the
Soviets and were taken as prisoners of war by the
Mengele, initially registered under his own name, was
released in June 1945 with papers giving his name as
After he ran from Germany to South America he lived for
35 years under many different aliases.
He eventually died in 1979.
He had a stroke while swimming in the ocean.
During the second World War,
Nazi human experimentation
occurred in Germany.
At war's conclusion, 23 Nazi
doctors and scientists were tried
for the murder of concentration
camp inmates who were used as
Of the 23 professionals tried at
Nuremberg, 15 were convicted.
Seven of them were condemned
to death by hanging and eight
received prison sentences from
10 years to life.
Auschwitz I, the main camp, was the first camp established near Oswiecim.
It’s Construction began in May 1940 in an abandoned Polish army artillery
barracks. During the first year of the camp’s existence, the SS and police
cleared a zone of approximately 40 square kilometers (15.44 square miles)
as a “development zone” reserved for the gas chambers. The first prisoners
at Auschwitz included German prisoners transferred from othe
concentration camps in Germany.
Auschwitz I was constructed to serve three purposes:
1) to incarcerate real and perceived enemies of the Nazi regime and the
German occupation authorities in Poland for an indefinite period of time;
2) to have forced laborers for deployment.
3) to serve as a site to physically eliminate small, targeted groups of the
population whose death was determined by the SS and police.
Construction of Auschwitz II also known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, began in
Of the three camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau camp had the largest total
It was divided into more than a dozen sections separated by electrified
The camp included sections for women and men
Auschwitz-Birkenau also contained the facilities for a killing center. It
played a central role in the German plan to kill the Jews of Europe. During
the summer and autumn of 1941, Zyklon B gas was introduced into the
German concentration camp system as a means for murder.
The "success" of these experiments led to the adoption of Zyklon B for all
the gas chambers at the Auschwitz complex.
Four large crematorium buildings were constructed between March and
June 1943. Each had three components: a disrobing area, a large gas
chamber, and crematorium ovens. The SS continued gassing operations
at Auschwitz-Birkenau until November 1944.
Auschwitz III, also called Buna or Monowitz, was established in
October 1942 to house prisoners.
From May 1941 until October 1942, the SS had transported
prisoners from Auschwitz I to the “Buna Detachment,” at first on foot
and later by rail.
Auschwitz III also had a so-called Labor Education Camp for nonJewish prisoners who were perceived to have violated Germanimposed labor discipline.
Between 1942 and 1945, Auschwitz established 39 subcamps.
Some of them were established within the officially designated
“development” zone, including Budy, Rajsko, Tschechowitz, Harmense,
and Babitz. Others, such as Blechhammer, Gleiwitz,
Althammer, Fürstengrube, Laurahuette, and Eintrachthuette.
In general the subcamps produced or processed agricultural.
Auschwitz inmates were employed on huge farms, including the
experimental agricultural station at Rajsko. They were also forced to work
in coal mines, in stone quarries, in fisheries, and especially in armaments
industries such as the SS-owned German Equipment Works (established
Periodically, prisoners underwent selection. If the SS judged them too
weak or sick to continue working, they were transported to AuschwitzBirkenau and then killed.
Prisoners selected for forced labor were registered and tattooed with
identification numbers on their left arms in Auschwitz I. They were then
assigned to forced labor at the main camp or elsewhere in the complex,
including the subcamps.
DEPORTATIONS TO AUSCHWITZ
Trains arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau frequently with transports of
Jews from virtually every country in Europe.
These transports arrived from 1942 to the end of summer 1944.
The breakdown of deportations from individual countries, given in
approximate figures, is:
Bohemia and Moravia: 46,000
other (including concentration camps): 34,000.
the role of Auschwitz-Birkenau as an instrument in the German plan to
murder the Jews of Europe achieved its highest effectiveness. Between
late April and early July 1944,
approximately 440,000 Hungarian Jews were deported, around 426,000
of them to Auschwitz.
The SS sent approximately 320,000 of them directly to the gas
chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau and deployed approximately 110,000
at forced labor in the Auschwitz concentration camp complex.
The SS authorities transferred many of these Hungarian Jewish forced
laborers within weeks of their arrival in Auschwitz to other concentration
camps in Germany and Austria.
In total, approximately 1.1 million Jews were deported to Auschwitz.
SS and police authorities deported approximately 200,000 other
victims to Auschwitz, including:
23,000 Roma and Sinti (Gypsies)
15,000Soviet prisoners of war
25,000 others (Soviet civilians, Lithuanians, Czechs, French,
Yugoslavs, Germans, Austrians, and Italians).
New arrivals at Auschwitz-Birkenau underwent selection. The SS staff
determined the majority to be unfit for forced labor and sent them
immediately to the gas chambers, which were disguised as shower
installations to mislead the victims.
The belongings of those gassed were confiscated and sold for profits.
At least 1,960,000 Jews were killed in Auschwitz.
Other victims included approximately:
21,000 Roma (Gypsies)
15,000 Soviet prisoners of war
10,000-15,000 members of other nationalities (Soviet civilians, Czechs,
Yugoslavs, French, Germans, and Austrians).
“On October 7, 1944, several hundred prisoners assigned to
Crematorium IV at Auschwitz-Birkenau rebelled after learning that they
were going to be killed. During the uprising, the prisoners killed three
guards and blew up the crematorium and adjacent gas chamber. The
prisoners used explosives smuggled into the camp by Jewish women
who had been assigned to forced labor in a nearby armaments factory.
The Germans crushed the revolt and killed almost all of the prisoners
involved in the rebellion”.
Gassing operations continued, however, until November 1944, at which
time the SS, on orders from Himmler, disabled the gas chambers that
still functioned. The SS destroyed the remaining gassing installations as
Soviet forces approached in January 1945.
THE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ
In mid-January 1945, as Soviet forces approached the Auschwitz
concentration camp complex, the SS began evacuating Auschwitz and
all its subcamps.
SS units forced 60,000 prisoners to march from the Auschwitz camp
Thousands had been killed in the camps in the days before these death
Tens of thousands of prisoners, mostly Jews, were forced to march
either northwest for 30 miles to Gliwice.
SS guards shot anyone who fell behind or could not continue. Prisoners
also suffered from the cold weather, starvation, and exposure on these
marches. At least 3,000 prisoners died on route to Gliwice alone;
possibly as many as 15,000 prisoners died during the evacuation
marches from Auschwitz and the subcamps.
Upon arrival in Gliwice and Wodzislaw, the prisoners were put on
unheated freight trains and transported to concentration camps in
Germany. The rail journey lasted for days. Without food, water, shelter,
or blankets, many prisoners died on the way.
In late January 1945, SS forced 4,000 prisoners to evacuate
Blechhammer, a subcamp of Auschwitz-Monowitz, on foot.
The SS murdered about 800 prisoners during the march to the GrossRosen concentration camp. SS officials also killed as many as 200
prisoners left behind in Blechhammer as a result of illness or successful
attempts to hide.
On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, Birkenau, and
Monowitz and liberated around 7,000 prisoners, most of whom were ill
and dying. It is estimated that the SS and police deported at a minimum
1.3 million people to Auschwitz complex between 1940 and 1945.
those who were 'selected' (chosen) as fit for work were used as slave
laborers. The rest were gassed as soon as practical. Kids under 15
(sometimes 14), visibly pregnant women and the elderly were gassed
as unfit for work. This was standard procedure.
Those considered fit for work were registered and tattooed with a
number and then sent to forced labour sections of the camp, where
they had to do heavy manual labour on grossly insufficient food.
Most women, children, and elderly people were told they were going to
the "showers" to be cleansed of lice, but, they were gassed and
cremated as soon as possible. Healthy adult men and women healthy
were worked until they were unable to do any more back breaking
slave labor, then they were gassed and cremated, and replaced by
new slave labor. A small number of Jews were used for "medical
Children who were transported to
From all occupied areas, children were deported to Auschwitz
since 1942. Small kids were ususally killed immediately because
they were too young to work.
Mothers who held their babies in their arms were gassed together
with the children. A child made a mother look like "unable to
If the mother was seen as "able to work" she would be sent to the
camp. Families could only stay together in the gypsy camp
Boys, which survived the selection, were first assigned to work as
masons at the building of the crematories.
It was prohibited to drink water in the camp because of its
contamination. Nevertheless, the thirsty children drank it and thus,
were exposed to all diseases raging in the camp.
All trees at Auschwitz
were planted after WWII
Roll Call each morning….
sometimes the prisoners would
have to stand for hours while the
SS got an accurate count at the
Entrance to 3’ X 3’ X 5’
special cell blocks.
Nazis would cram four
prisoners into one cell at
a single time
No way to sit or lay
down. Would stand for
10 hours, then go out and
work in the fields all day.
Camp Court and SS Torture Headquarters
The Black Wall:
Execution Firing Squad outside of Blok Smierci
•The photo is of the entrance into the crematorium at the Auschwitz I
concentration camp complex.
• This building had been a former Polish Army bunker that the Germans
converted into a crematorium.
•The inside of the building was destroyed by the Nazis before they
evacuated the camp as the Soviet Army was closing in.
•The photo is of the hanging gallows at the Auschwitz 1 Concentration
camp complex. The SS conducted public hangings on these gallows that the
prisoners were forced to watch.
• These hangings were used as an act of intimidation.
•The largest mass hanging on these gallows occurred on July 19, 1943 when
12 Polish men were hung at the same time. They were accused of helping 3
prisoners escape and for maintaining contact with the outside world.
Near the Sobibor village
Deeply forested and
High fence and wires
Hidden completely from
Administration (offices and
Killing (gas chamber)
Percentage of Jews deported to Sobibor
Sobibor was the second death camp constructed.
In March 1942 a new railroad spur was built, which ended at an earthen ramp,
the ramp was opposite the station building.
The camp was in the form of a 400 x 600m rectangle, surrounded by a 3m high
double barbed-wire fence, partially interwoven with pine branches to prevent
observation from the outside. Along the fence and in the corners of the camp
were wooden garde towers.
Each of the four camp areas was individually fenced in.
Unlike the death camp at Belzec, the SS men lived inside the camp area.
The three gas chambers were inside a brick building - individual chambers were
square shaped, 4 x 4m and had a capacity of 160 – 180 persons.
Each gas chamber was entered through a small door.
Outside the building was an annex in which a motor produced the deadly
carbon monoxide gas, water pipes conducted the gas to the gas chambers.
MAY 1942 300 JEWS AND SOVIET try to excape
ONLY 50 LIVE
GAS CHAMBERS SHUT DOWN AFTER ESCAPE
How the extermination process operated:
“Before the Jews undressed they were told that they would be sent to work.
But before this they would have to take baths. To prevent the spread of
After undressing, the Jews were taken through the ‘tube,’ by an SS man.
After the Jews had entered the gas chambers, the Ukrainians closed the
doors, the motor was switched on. In thirty minits they were ded.
After the gassing, the doors were opened and the corpses were removed
by a group of Jewish slave workers.”
The slave workers who had to carry out these duties in the extermination
process were selected from the transports.
During the first phase of the killing operations in Sobibor, from the 5 May
until the end of July 1942.
he village of Chelmno (Ger.: Kulmhof) is located about west central
SS and police authorities established the Chelmno killing center in order
to annihilate the Jewish population of the Wartheland.
It was the first stationary facility where poison gas was used for mass
murder of Jews.
The SS and police began killing operations at Chelmno on December 8,
Any victims found to be still alive as
the corpses were being unloaded were
shot by SS and police officials on duty
at the forest camp.
These were vehicles packed with Jews,
handicaps, Gypsies etc. and they were
gassed with carbon monoxide which
resulted in suffocation. Gas trucks were
particularly used at Chelmno
There were 3 gas trucks used in
Once the victims suffocated, the
driver would take them to the forest
camp (Waldlager) where the corpses
were buried in the graves.This
procedure happened on a daily basis
from December 8, 1941 to the spring
DEPORTATIONS TO CHELMNO
The SS and police conducted killing operations in Chelmno from
December 8, 1941, until March 1943 and then again for a brief period in
June-July 1944 in the forest camp.
From early December 1941 until mid-January 1942, the SS and police
deported Jews by truck from nearby towns and villages.
Other victims murdered at the Chelmno killing center included:
In March 1943, the ss shot the last Jewish forced laborers. And
destroyed the gas chamber
In June 1944, however, the Germans renewed deportations to Chelmno
The SS returned to the forest camp and supervised résumé the killing
Then they killed the Jews either by asphyxiation in a gas van or by
From mid-July 1944, the SS and police deported the remaining
Seven Jews are known to have escaped from Chelmno; all worked in
the burial detachment.
The killing center was demolished in January 1945.
Established in 1941 as a POW camp
started its part in the Final Solution in 1942
Jews, Poles and Soviet POW’s sent here
•Initially there were two gas chambers using Zyklon-B poison gas
housed in a wooden building; later there were replaced by gas
chambers in a brick building.
•The killing operations began in April 1942 and ended in July 1944.
•The estimated number of deaths is 360,000, including Jews, Soviet
POWs and Poles.
•The original camp was constructed by Jewish POWs..
•It contaned 144 barracks sub divided into five sections
•An estimated 130,000 Jews were deported to Majdanek during 194243 as part of the 'Final Solution'.
•As with Auschwitz, but unlike the other major killing centers of Sobibor,
Belzec, Treblinka, and Chelmno, Majdanek was also a slave labor and
The Liberation of Majdanek
The Majdanek extermination camp was liberated by Soviet troops on
July 23, 1944; it was the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be
liberated by the Allies.
Shortly after Majdanek was liberated, a documentary film was made by
the Russians to show horrors that realy went on in the camp.
When Majdanek was liberated, it was also the first time that anyone
from the Allied countries had actually seen a gas chamber.
The Belzec death camp was located in the southeastern part of the Lublin District, near Belzec. In early 1940, the Germans set up a number of labor camps in the
Belzec district, housing workers building the "Otto-Line", a series of building on the border with the Soviet Union. These Jewish labor camps were disbanded in
October 1940. It was rebuilt in connection with Aktion Reinhard, specifically for the murder of Jews.
In November 1941, SS and police authorities in Lublin District began construction of a killing center.
The facility was finished in the late winter of 1942.
Belzec began operations on March 17, 1942.
The killing center was only 1,620 feet from the Belzec railway station.
The Germans divided Belzec into two sections a reception area and a separate area, in which the SS and police could carry out the mass murder hidden from view of
victims waiting in the reception area. A narrow enclosed path called the "tube" connected the two sections of the killing center.
•Gassing operations at Belzec began in mid-March 1942.
•Trains of 40 to 60 freight cars, with 80 to 100 people crowded into each
car, arrived at the Belzec railway station. Twenty freight cars at a time
were detached and brought from the station into the camp.
•The Jews were forced to undress and run through the "tube," which led
directly into gas chambers deceptively labeled as showers. Once the
chamber doors were sealed, auxiliary police guards started an engine
located outside the building housing the gas chambers. Carbon
monoxide was funneled into the gas chambers, killing all those inside.
The process was then repeated with deportees in the next 20 freight
DISMANTLEMENT OF BELZEC
By late spring 1943, Jewish forced laborers cremated the bodies and
demolished the canp
During June 1943, the job was completed and the Jewish forced laborers
were either shot in Belzec or deported to the Sobibor killing center to be
After the Belzec camp was dismantled, the Germans ploughed over the
site, built a manor house and planted trees and crops to disguise the area
as a farm.
Treblinka was split into two camps: Treblinka I was a labor camp, and Treblinka II
was the extermination camp. While Treblinka I housed the 700 Jews performing
the manual labor (which consisted of the work concerning the killing process and
tending to the German and Ukrainian staff) Treblinka II housed three gas
chambers, until it expanded and three more were constructed. (see picture
The camp was initially supervised by SS Obersturmfuhrer Imfried Eberl until SS
Obersturmfuhrer Franz Stangl replaced him in August 1942 and was run by
Germans, Urkranians, and Jewish prisoners.
Since its construction in 1942, Jews were brought from all over the
Generalgouvernment to Treblinka. The first Jews in Treblinka began with the
evacuation of the Warsaw ghetto (see picture bottom right).
The first railway of victims arrived at the Treblinka camp on June 22,
1942, and from that time there was a constant stream of fresh arrivals.
In front of the entrance to the gas-chambers there were usually several
people standing by with dogs, who drove the victims in. The victims were
driven into the gas-chambers with their hands up, so that as many might be
squeezed in as possible, and small children were piled on top.
The actual gassing in the chambers lasted about 15 minutes. After the state
of the victims had been observed through a special small window, the
doors on the outside of the building were opened, and the corpses, being so
closely packed inside, fell out of their own weight on to the ground.
Instantly the workers removed them, and prepared the place for the next
10 GAS CHAMBERS
LOCATED EAST OF WARSAW
BODIES WERE BURNED IN OPEN PITS
Destruction of Treblinka
Gas chamber remains
1945 photo by Russian and Polish
investigators after destruction
Mass graves that had been covered
up. Photo taken 1945
As the war was coming to a
close, it became clear to the
Germans that they would
lose to the Allies. With
Allied troops moving in from
the West and the Soviet
troops from the East, the
Germans tried to move the
Holocaust survivors from the
concentration camps to the
center of Germany.
At first, evacuations were
carried out by train or
boat. But as the Allies
reached the borders of
Germany, more and more
prisoners were evacuated
Prisoners had no supplies. Many froze to death overnight when they were
forced to stop in open fields. Exhaustion and diseases such as typhus killed
many others. Most prisoners were frostbitten.
Any prisoner who could not keep pace with the march or lagged behind was
shot, as was anyone caught trying to escape. Of the 66,000 prisoners evacuated
from Auschwitz, 15,000 died on the march to Germany.
Prisoners were marched almost to the last day of the war. During the last two
months before Germany surrendered, 250,000 prisoners were moved.
Percentage of Jews killed in each country
As the Allies advanced towards
Berlin, one by one they
discovered the horrors left by the
First the Soviets at Chelmo, then
the Americans at Dachau and
“Our troops found sights,
sounds, and stenches horrible
beyond belief, cruelties so
enormous as to be
incomprehensible to the normal
mind.“ - Colonel William Quinn
officers look over
remains of Nazi