Auschwitz Concentration Camp Essay

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The Auschwitz concentration camp was a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by Nazi Germany in Poland during World War II. It consisted of Auschwitz I, II, III and fortyfive satellite camps. The camp was staffed by 7,000 members of the German Schutzstaffel. Twelve percent were later convicted of war crimes and some were executed. Auschwitz I was the original concentration camp. Auschwitz II, Birkenau, was a combination of a concentration camp and an extermination camp. Auschwitz III, Monowitz, was a labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory.
Auschwitz I was originally created to hold Polish political prisoners who started arriving in May 1940. The first extermination took place in September 1941. Auschwitz II, Birkenau, became a major site of the Nazi’s final solution to the Jewish question during the Holocaust. From early 1942 until late 1944, trains delivered Jews to the camps gas chambers where they were killed with the pesticide Zyklon B. An estimated 1.3 million were sent and at least 1.1 million died. Around 90% of those killed were Jews. Others sent to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Romani and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah's witnesses, and tens of thousand of others of diverse nationalities. Many not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation,
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Among the items found by the Soviet soldiers were 370,000 men's suits, 837,000 women's garments, and 17,000 pounds of human hair. The camp's liberation received little press attention at the time. In historian Laurence Rees' opinion, this was due to three factors: the previous discovery of similar crimes at Majdanek concentration camp, competing news from the Allied summit at Yalta, and the Soviet Union's interest, for propaganda purposes, in minimizing attention to Jewish
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