Auschwitz: a Prisoner Camp, an Industrial Camp, and a Death Camp

3326 Words Nov 17th, 2008 14 Pages
Auschwitz: a prisoner camp, an industrial camp, and a death camp “…Imagine now a man who is deprived of everyone he loves, and at the same time of his house, his habit, his cloth, in short, of everything he possesses: he will be a hollow man, reduced to suffering and needs, forgetful of dignity and restraint, for he who loses all often easily loses himself. He will be a man whose life or death can be lightly decided with no sense of human affinity, in the most fortunate of cases, on the basis of a pure judgment of utility (Levi 23). This description might be overwhelming, but the truth is that this is a factual description of millions of people that suffered in concentration camps located all over Europe during World War II; …show more content…
He marked the passage into the camp with promise “Arbeit Macht Frei”. Soon after the commandant of Auschwitz had been given a big construction budget of two millions of marks to adapt the camp, nevertheless materials for this construction was impossible to find. In the summer of 1940 the newly established construction office in the camp, led by August Schlachter and Walther Urbancyk reported that without materials constructions of the new buildings was impossible. Later, the SS had identified the concentration camp as a central instrument to actualize its programs in Upper Silesia. Originally a camp for prisoners that, “because of its industrial value, could not be deported and a transit camp for those arrested who where then shipped west to perform slave labor.” (Dwork and Jan van Pelt 171) Auschwitz was put on the map of the SS financial empire by Pohl. He ordered Höss to double the capacity of prisoners. Auschwitz was going to be converted into a production site (Dwork and Jan van Pelt 168-71). Auschwitz was converted in an industry of building materials; this new task of Auschwitz created the first sub camp of many. The expansion of Auschwitz I was the first brick to complete the construction of a massive concentration camp. The industry of building materials was a great financial success for the SS; however, conditions in the camp did not improve even though the labor of the inmates became important to
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