Auschwitz: the Overview of a Concentration Camp Essay

2323 Words Mar 29th, 2002 10 Pages
Auschwitz:
Overview of the Concentration Camp
The Holocaust was one of the most horrifying crimes against humanity. "Hitler, in an attempt to establish the pure Aryan race, decided that Jews, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma (Gypsies), and homosexuals amongst others were to be eliminated from the German population. One of his main methods of exterminating these "undesirables" was through the use of concentration and death camps. In January of 1941, Adolf Hitler and his top officials decided to make their "final solution" a reality. Their goal was to eliminate the Jews and the "impure" from the entire German population. Auschwitz was not only the largest concentration camp that carried out Hitler's "final solution," but it was
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They slept on three shelves of wooden slabs with six of these units to each tier. Three to five prisoners would sleep in a bed built for one person. Many people thought that the reason hundreds of people got sick was because when it rained, they slept freezing cold in their wet clothes. (Nyiszli, 112)
Prisoners who got extremely sick were sent to hospital blocks that were there primarily there to isolate the ill "patients" rather than make them well. Patients were crowded in one another's filth. The discharges from those on upper bunks dripped on to the lower, rags were used for bandages, and medicine was hard to come by. "A prison doctor once tied an aspirin to a string and instructed those patients with a lower fever to "lick it once" and those with a high fever "twice." (Hellman 112)
The first two huts in each camp section were washrooms and toilets. In place of toilets, there were wooden boards with round holes and underneath them concrete troughs. Prisoners had only a standard 30 seconds on the toilet and risked being beaten for taking too long or sneaking back. The smells were horrible because there wasn't enough water to clean the latrine. One prisoner said, "The smell of death and excrement was everywhere. Diarrhea was so rampant that people were dying left and right." (Nyiszli, 113) In March 1941, Himmler ordered that a second, much larger section of the camp be built. Three months later in October 1941, 1.9 miles from
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