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Horror and Destruction of Auschwitz Death Camps Essay

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Of all of the death camps built by the Nazis during World War II, none was larger or more destructive than the terrifying Auschwitz camp. Auschwitz was built by the Nazis in 1940, in Oswiecim, Poland, and was composed of three main parts. Auschwitz I was built in June 1940 and was intended to hold and kill Polish political prisoners. Auschwitz II-Birkenau, which opened October 1941, was larger and could contain over 100,000 inmates. Auschwitz III-Monowitz provided slave labor for a plant close by. In addition, there were many sub-camps. The most important camp at Auschwitz designed for the extermination of many people was Birkenau; numerous gas chambers and crematoria were established there, mainly to murder and incinerate Jews as…show more content…
The people sent to the gas chambers were unaware of their fates; they were falsely informed that though they were to be placed in a camp, they had to be disinfected and washed first. The people were led to a red brick building bearing the letters "Baden", which is German for "Baths". There, they were forced to remove their clothes and were handed a towel before entering the supposed shower room. When the assemblage of victims were herded inside the chamber, the doors were locked and a very effective poison gas, Zyklon B (hydrogen cyanide), was released. After about 5 to 7 minutes, when the gas had finished its task, other prisoners were forced to remove the dead bodies, take any precious metals from the teeth or from jewelry, and cut off the women's hair. When the corpses were deprived of valuables, they were incinerated in pits, on pyres or in large crematoriums. Crematorium II, the biggest in Auschwitz, was capable of incinerating over 1,400 bodies a day. Altogether, the four crematoria could incinerate 4,416 people a day, and over 1,600,000 individuals were cremated per year. Though the gas chamber method of killing people was most destructive and very efficient, many other tactics were used to slaughter unfortunate prisoners. One Auschwitz survivor said, "One night we were awakened by terrifying cries... on the preceding day, the gas
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