Auschwitz Birkenau: Amazing stories, photos and facts from the most known Nazi concentration camp.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Dachau, Allied Dark Side: Atrocities, Axis Atrocities, Nazi Death Camps, Nazi Guards, Nazi Archives, Auschwitz Survivors.
Auschwitz-Birkenau: 4 out of 10 German students don`t know what it was
More than half of German secondary school students aged 14 to 16 years of age polled in a survey do not know that Auschwitz-Birkenau was a concentration camp. However, Sven Tetzlaff, a historian who was involved in the survey, says he is concerned about the lack of stand alone history classes for 14- to 16-year-olds in particular. He says in many states "history is not being taught as a separate subject in years 8 to 10."
Auschwitz: First travelling exhibition will visit Europe and US
The first travelling exhibition of objects from Auschwitz is set to go on tour in the hope it will become "a warning cry" to future generations. The exhibition is due to visit 14 cities in the US and Europe, and will be made up of more than 600 objects from the Nazi German camp in Poland. It will include a freight wagon, like the ones that transported people to the camp during World War Two. The items on show are not just the belongings of the victims - which also included Poles, Sinti and Roma and Soviet prisoners of war - but also items from those who ran the camp, the German SS. The exhibition, which is entitled "Not long ago. Not far away", will have its first stop in Madrid, Spain, before the end of the year.
Poland puts database of Auschwitz guards online (9,000 names)
The names of Nazi SS commanders and guards at the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland have been put online by the country`s Institute of National Remembrance (INR). It has been hailed as the most comprehensive list to date. About 9,000 names - nearly all German - are on the Auschwitz garrison list, some with photographs attached. It includes information about SS commanders and guards who worked at Auschwitz-Birkenau, their names, place and date of birth, nationality, military service and where possible, a photograph.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
Auschwitz Museum discovered a ring and necklace in a secret compartment at the bottom of a mug
The museum at Auschwitz-Birkenau announced in a statement that its staff had found a mug with a double bottom; in it, they said, was `a women`s ring made of gold and a necklace wrapped in a piece of canvas.` Remarkably, this mug is one of more than 12,000 pieces of enameled kitchenware at the museum.
Poland to publish new, comprehensive list of Auschwitz staff (8700 persons)
Poland is preparing an extensive list of the personnel who served in the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, where according to new data, more than 8,700 people worked, nearly double the previous figure. The initiative could lead to new war crime charges being brought up against the few dozens of the workers still living. An investigation by the Institute of National Remembrance, or IPN, a public body which is responsible for investigating Nazi and communist war crimes against Polish citizens brought the new information to light. The updated list of people who served in the camp includes more than 8,700 names, including 186 women.
Auschwitz inmates defended Nazi SS Doctor Hans Münch in postwar trials
Nazi SS Dr. Hans Münch became the only person acquitted of war crimes at the 1947 Auschwitz trials in Kraków. Inmates testified for him, calling him the `Good Man of Auschwitz` while 40 others were condemned. The charges against him were human experimentation, like they would have been for Mengele, but inmates noted in his defense that his `experiments` were harmless and ongoing, because he knew once experiments were done the subjects would be killed. His documented experimentation was a ruse to keep people alive, they told the court. He also refused to `select` anyone for the gas chambers or for experimentation with Mengele.
Drone footage shows Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz
Drone footage shows Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.
Audio files of Auschwitz survivors and Nazi death camp guards go online
The voices of Holocaust survivors and Nazi death camp guards can be heard in an online audio archive. The Fritz Bauer Institute put online hundreds of hours of recordings of German-language testimony about the horrors of Auschwitz. The institute, which is dedicated to studying the Holocaust, a decade ago published written transcripts of 430 hours of testimony and audio recordings of 100 hours, but it has now made the material available online at www.auschwitz-prozess.de. The witness testimony from the 1963-65 Frankfurt trial of 20 death camp guards, which was kept in the city archives, includes recordings of survivors recalling the horrors of Auschwitz as well as defendants denying culpability.
Hunt for Auschwitz Female Guards
Six elderly women are being investigated over their role as prison guards at the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. Germany`s Central office for the investigation of National Socialist crimes have to demonstrate that the women, now at least 87 years old, worked also at the Birkenau death site. The head of the Central office said that there are no information on executions conducted by female guards, but some of them treated prisoners very brutally and have been convicted of war crimes.
A barrack which belonged to Auschwitz-Monowitz complex threatened with demolition
A barrack which belonged to the concentration camp Auschwitz-Monowitz is being threatened with demolition. The structure had been displaced to be used as a shed. The present owner seems to intent to tear down the very much worn out wooden construction. Auschwitz-Monowitz, also known as Auschwitz III was located at 6km from the main camp Auschwitz (Auschwitz I in Oświeҫim). The camp for forced labor was set up in October 1942 in the vicinity of the village Monowice and had a capacity of more than ten thousand prisoners. These prisoners, mainly Jews, were employed by the SS as forced labor for the industrial site of the German chemical group of IG Farben.
The Auschwitz Volunteer by Witold Pilecki -- Reports directly from Auschwitz
One man volunteered for Auschwitz, and now we have his story. In 1940 Polish cavalry officer Witold Pilecki walked into a German roundup in Warsaw, and was sent by train to the new German camp. His choice was made within, and for, Poland`s anti-Nazi underground. Auschwitz was set up to render Polish opposition to German rule impossible, and the first transport from Warsaw, in August 1940, had included two of Pilecki`s comrades. He went to Auschwitz to discover what had become of them. Pilecki`s report on Auschwitz, unpublishable for decades in Communist Poland and now translated into English under the title "The Auschwitz Volunteer," is a historical document of the greatest importance.
In pictures: Auschwitz-Birkenau, then and now
This photo gallery is based on a new publication by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which shows photographs taken in the extermination camp during World War II alongside pictures of the same locations today.
Poland demands return of Auschwitz barracks from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Polish and U.S. officials are engaged in intense talks to determine the fate of a sensitive object: a barrack that once housed doomed inmates at the Nazis` Auschwitz death camp and is now on display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Poland is demanding the return of the artifact, which has been on loan to the Washington museum for 20 years and is an important object in its permanent exhibition. But the American museum is resisting the demand, saying the valuable object shouldn`t be moved partly because it is too fragile.
The Sketchbook from Auschwitz includes 22 pages of drawings from an unknown prisoner with initials MM
Found hidden away in a bottle, the Auschwitz Memorial Museum has published sketches drawn by a prisoner at the Birkenau extermination camp. They provide a rare first-hand glimpse of life and death inside. The book is part of the museum`s plans to launch a catalogue of 6,000 artworks in its archives. "The Sketchbook from Auschwitz" includes the 22 pages of drawings from an unknown prisoner whose initials were apparently MM. They represent a rare first-hand historical account of the Holocaust - being the only work of art made in Birkenau that depict exterminations.
Auschwitz sees record number of visitors - more than 1.4 million - in 2011
The memorial site of Auschwitz-Birkenau saw more than 1.4 million visitors in 2011, a record high for the Nazi death camp. The figure underlines how the death and labor complex that the Third Reich built in occupied southern Poland during World War 2 has become one of Europe`s most visited Holocaust remembrance sites. While the large number of visitors is seen as important for Holocaust education, mass tourism there is also adding strain to the barracks and other structures.
Israeli couple held over Auschwitz death camp artefacts theft
An Israeli couple have been given suspended jail sentences in Poland for the theft of artefacts from the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. The nine items were found in their luggage during a routine check as they prepared to board a flight to Israel. The couple admitted taking the items during a tour of the concentration camp, now a museum. The 60-year-old man and 57-year-old woman - whose names have not been revealed - were charged with stealing culturally important items, an offence that carries a maximum 10-year jail sentence.
British soldier Denis Avey swapped uniforms with Jewish pal to broke into Auschwitz
British soldier Denis Avey was captured as a POW during the Second World War and sent to the IG Farben plant, known as Auschwitz III. After he learned of the mass killings and smelled the stench from nearby crematoriums he wanted to witness the atrocities for himself. Avey bribed guards and swapped uniforms with a Dutch Jew. With the risk of almost certain death, he broke into the deadly camp and witnessed for himself the "vaguely human" corpses piling up each day. Avey has now told his amazing story in a book called "The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz".
Auschwitz decaying: 2/3 of $165 million - needed to set up a fund to finance future repairs - already collected
The red brick barracks are sinking into ruin. Time has turned victims` leather shoes into strange shapes. Hair sheared to make cloth is turning to dust.
Auschwitz is crumbling, and some time ago officials launched an ambitious campaign to raise 165 million to set up a "perpetual fund" whose interest can be drawn on indefinitely to repair barracks, watchtowers, crematoria and other structures at the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum and memorial. 2/3 of what is needed has been collected so far - mainly thanks to an $82 million donation from Germany.
Meanwhile, some historians like Robert Jan Van Pelt argue that "once the last survivor has died Auschwitz should be left for nature to reclaim, and eventually forgotten".
The factory where the Auschwitz ovens were designed and built reopens as a memorial
In spite of all the arguments about the Auschwitz crematorium ovens - and even questions about their existence - Topf & Söhne, the company which actually planned and built them, avoided the spotlight until the mid-1990s. Now, after restoration, the factory, which is located just outside the city center of Erfurt, has reopened as a memorial.
"The company was not a place where people were tortured or murdered. Rather it is a place where people thought and calculated how to incinerate as quickly and effectively as possible," explained memorial head Annegret Schüle.
Auschwitz needs £120M restoration: Only 4 of the 45 brick barracks safe for tourists to visit
The Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp is rotting away and needs a £120million restoration if it is to be preserved. The infamous Nazi camp was set up on boggy ground between two rivers by untrained prisoners, so the high groundwater and bad drainage has rotted the foundations. Only 4 of the 45 brick barracks are safe for tourists to visit. Wooden struts are all that stop them from collapsing and museum staff have to regularly dig out the drainage canals to stop flooding - a huge task for the museum which maintains 155 buildings, some 300 ruins and other remnants like the 4 gas chambers and crematoria.
150 surgical instruments from Auschwitz found in a nearby house in Oswiecim
Over 150 gynaecological and surgical instruments from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp have been discovered in a nearby house in Oswiecim, Poland. "This is one of the greatest discoveries in recent years. Everything indicates that these instruments were used by Carl Clauberg.," said Bartosz Bartyzel, a spokesman for the Auschwitz museum. Clauberg, a physician and member of the SS, experimented with methods for the mass sterilisation of women. Hundreds of women held at Auschwitz whom he used in pseudo-medical experiments perished because of the operations he carried out.
Nazi SS documents on Auschwitz found in an attic in Oswiecim, Poland
Over 200 documents on the Nazi SS which ran the Auschwitz death camp have been discovered in an attic of a house in Oswiecim, Poland. A number of the documents deal with the doctor Victor Capesius, who did drug experiments on inmates from February 1944 and was the death camp`s last chief pharmacist.
How liberated Auschwitz survivors were assaulted by Red Army soldiers
When liberation came, it came quickly. One night in January 1945 inmates at Auschwitz-Birkenau were awoken by an explosion. The Nazis, about to leave, had blown up the crematoria, for fear that the Soviet Army would discover them. At the time millions of civilians were travelling to escape from the Soviet advance. And the liberated Auschwitz survivors joined that migration. One of them was Helena Citronova, who soon learned that Soviet soldiers lurked in the darkness: "They were... totally drunk. Red Army soldiers looked for cute girls... There were cases where they were raped to death."
A collection of Auschwitz related photographs
A collection of Auschwitz related photographs.
Hungry Soviet liberators ate horse meat and threw bones to the survivors - Children recall Auschwitz liberation
On Jan. 17, 1945 - 10 days before the Red Army liberated the camp - the Nazis forced 60,000 inmates into the Death March. "I was too weak to go," says Kazimiera Wasiak, one of the 7,000 people left to die. She remembers a Soviet recon unit entering the camp before Jan 27, when the arrival of the Red Army front marked the camp`s liberation. "They were... very hungry. The troops set up a field kitchen... They were eating horse meat and we, like dogs, begged them to give us a little and they `played` with us, throwing the bones... We fetched them and chewed them," Wasiak recalls, holding back tears.
Auschwitz draws in record number of visitors - 1.3 million - in 2009
In spite of economic crisis Auschwitz-Birkenau was visited by 1.3 million visitors - 100,000 more than previous record set in 2007. Most visitors – 821,000 - are young people, of which 600,000 are from Poland where visiting the Nazi death camp has been made mandatory for students. The top 5 countries represented among visitors to the memorial are Poland, Britain, Italy, Israel, and Germany. Fewer visitors came from North America, probably because of the economic crisis and the decrease in value of the dollar, whereas the number of visitors from Asia has been steadily growing.
Ordinary crooks without Neo-nazi connections stole Auschwitz sign
The "Arbeit macht frei" sign stolen from Auschwitz has been found and 5 men - not members of a neo-Nazi group - are being interrogated. The metal sign from the main gate, which symbolises the atrocities of Nazi Germany, had been cut into 3 pieces. The theft had been financially motivated - Nazi memorabilia market - but it remained unclear whether it was carried out to order.
Builders find a message in a bottle written by Auschwitz prisoners
Builders working near the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp have found a message in a bottle written by captives. The message, written in pencil and dated 9 September 1944, lists names, camp numbers and home towns of 7 young captives. At least two survived the Nazi camp. The bottle was inside a concrete wall in a school that captives had been forced to reinforce.
Original Auschwitz blueprints go on display in Berlin
Original blueprints of the Auschwitz death camp, stumbled upon by chance in a Berlin apartment in 2008, have gone on display in Berlin. The construction plans are dated 1941 and 1942 and include a gas chamber and a crematorium. This is the first time the blueprints are being displayed. Historical experts from the German government archive and the Auschwitz memorial site substantiated their authenticity. The owner`s asking price for the blueprints was so high that the Federal Archive refused to buy them, so Bild bought the blueprints instead.
Historian: once the last survivor has died Auschwitz should be forgotten
Historian Robert Jan Van Pelt argues that once the last survivor has died Auschwitz should be left for nature to reclaim, and eventually forgotten. Many survivors told that a tour of the camp can teach little to those who were not there. Should the world use a lot of resources to preserve it? Sure, as long as there are survivors who want to travel back to the place of their suffering. But what when there are no survivors left? As we mark the 64th anniversary of the arrival of the Red Army at the Auschwitz (the term "liberation" is not really accurate as most of the inmates had been evacuated earlier in death marches) it is good to begin thinking about the future.
1941-1943 blueprints for Auschwitz camp found in Berlin
The newspaper Bild published never-before-seen architectural plans of the Auschwitz camp that reveal that everyone in the operation of Auschwitz knew full well that it was designed for the systematic extermination of human beings. The floor plans, cross-sections and maps, mostly on a scale of 1:100, were discovered during the evacuation of an abandoned Berlin apartment. The 28 documents -- drawn 1941-1943, after Auschwitz-Birkenau was constructed -- include detailed blueprints of barracks, gas chambers labeled Gaskammer (Gas chamber) in a Gothic-styled font. One of the maps has the signature of Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS and the Gestapo.
Auschwitz tattoo began as an IBM Number - IBM machines were located at the Nazi camps (Article no longer available from the original source)
In August 1943 a timber merchant from Bendzin arrived at Auschwitz. He was registered in the Labor Assignment Office and given a 5-digit IBM Hollerith number, 44673, which was later tattooed on his forearm. The 5-digit Hollerith number was part of IBM`s custom-designed Hollerith punch card system which let the Nazis efficiently manage the camps and the millions of victims who passed through them. Each month authorized repairmen, working directly for or trained by IBM, serviced the machines on-site: whether in Berlin or at a camp. The information that IBM machines were at Auschwitz is just the latest smoking gun, as IBM continues to block access to its archives.
The Auschwitz album: Photos reveal, Auschwitz was not hell for everyone
In June of 1945, after the war with Nazi Germany had ended, a U.S. Army officer coming to Frankfurt was told to search a place to live. He found an abandoned apartment - and an album of photographs. It had 31 pages, and 116 black-and-white pictures, showing Nazi officers: at a picnic, at shooting practice, at a long table with wine bottles and waiters, at a ceremony where the coffins are wrapped with Nazi flags. No photos had ever shown Nazis at leisure at Auschwitz, but in the album Rudolf Hoess appears with Josef Mengele at a retreat called Solahütte, where also were young women - identified as Helferinnen (`helpers`) by their Nazi uniforms.
Auschwitz-Birkenau camp refuses to return paintings to survivor Dina Babbitt
Auschwitz survivor Dina Babbitt wants back the paintings that kept her alive when they were in the concentration camp. "They are almost like part of me. They took everything away from me... Now they are telling me I cannot have this work that I made with my own hands." The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp has refused to return the paintings to her, saying they are the property of the camp and a valuable record of what happened to Europe`s Roma under the Nazis. Babbitt was pressed into painting images of Roma, then called Gypsies, for Dr. Josef Mengele, the notorious SS officer known as the Angel of Death.
Smiling faces of the killers at Auschwitz - Scrapbooks From Hell: The Auschwitz Albums
In "Scrapbooks From Hell: The Auschwitz Albums" -documentary Ruth Brand tells of how she and her fellow arrivals were stripped of belongings and shaved bald when they arrived at Auschwitz. "Then we are marched outside, and we look at each other and cannot recognize each other. Nobody recognizes each other, even sisters." The film tells of the personal photo album of an SS officer Karl Hoecker. It contains 116 pictures of the death camp`s staff at play. "They really look like nice guys, and without the context of what they’re doing in Auschwitz, this is an album of fun," says Rebecca Erbelding.
Auschwitz: Vendors crowd the entrance, some teens joke during tour
More tourists are arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but what kind of experience are they getting? Today’s visitors are mostly students and casual tourists with no direct lineage to the Nazi Genocide. Previously visitors came to mourn and to remember. The growing generation gap and historical distance from World War II raise questions about how to attend to the different needs of visitors. Imagine arriving... and looking up to the entrance gate and see the slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Makes You Free) welded onto the gate to the death camp. Then your eyes can’t help but wander to the vendors that crowd the sidelines of the gate’s entrance.
Why wasn`t Auschwitz bombed - Historical and moral question
The question of bombing Auschwitz came up in the summer of 1944, two years after the gassing had begun, when 90% of the Jews murdered were already dead. Bombing a camp filled with innocent captives posed a moral dilemma. One had to assume that the loss of those killed in Allied bombings would be justified by the pause of the camp`s killing process: one had to accept the fact that those in the camps would soon die anyway. Such info was not available until the spring of 1944. Requests were made to U.S. officials, they refused because military resources could not be diverted from the war effort; bombing might prove ineffective, and provoke more vengeful German action.
1.22 million, record numbers, visit Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
A record 1.22 million people - 755000 foreigners - visited the former Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in 2007. "The majority of visitors are from abroad, mainly from UK, the US and Germany. We`ve seen a distinct increase in the number of foreigners since Poland joined the European Union in 2004 and the start of budget flights to nearby Krakow at around the same time," Jaroslaw Mensfelt told. Founded in 1947 the state-run Memorial and Museum at Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, received 1 million visitors in 2006 compared to half that number in 2001.
Photographs of Karl Höcker, adjutant to the Auschwitz commandant
Former United States Army intelligence officer donated photographs of Auschwitz, found more than 60 years ago in Nazi Germany, to US Holocaust Memorial Museum. There are only a small number of photos of the camp before its liberation in 1945. The museum received a package containing 16 cardboard pages, with photos pasted on both sides, and their significance became apparent: a scrapbook of the lives of Auschwitz’s senior SS officers, maintained by Karl Höcker, the adjutant to the camp commandant. In all there are 116 pictures, beginning from June 21, 1944, of Höcker and the commandant of the camp Richard Baer, both in full SS regalia.
Auschwitz renamed in UN update
UNESCO has agreed to change the name of the Auschwitz camp in Poland to reflect more the fact that it was run by Nazi Germany. Currently known as the "Auschwitz Concentration Camp", it will now be called "Auschwitz-Birkenau. German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)", after UNESCO`s world heritage committee agreed to a request from Poland. Birkenau was the neighbouring camp and the site of the gas chambers and crematoriums, and the UN committee agreed to update the name on its world heritage site list, with immediate effect.
5-part documentary on Auschwitz captures multiplicity of experience
From the Auschwitz Chronicle - documentary is 5 shorter documentaries that have been woven together to create a vivid tapestry of disparate elements of the experience of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. Michal Bukojemski focused these different aspects of Auschwitz to bring home point that there is "not one monolithic experience of the horror of Auschwitz." It takes literal excerpts from prisoners to SS officers and presents them so they form a storyline on one of many aspects of the camp. There are five chapters: “Roll Call,” “The Orchestra,” The Platform in Birkenau,” “Love” and “The Sonderkommando.”
In 1945, Jan 27, Soviet troops of the First Ukrainian Front arrived at the town of Oswiecim in Poland. In a camp there they found several thousand starving prisoners. Inured to brutality after many months of campaigning, the soldiers were not very impressed. They had arrived at the place that the Germans had renamed Auschwitz. Newspapers barely mentioned the liberation. In 1939, the Nazis had strung barbed wire around 22 army barracks to form a prison camp, which provided slave labor for the Third Reich. This profitable business was operated by Heinrich Himmler`s SS. Companies like Krupp, Siemens, and I.G. Farben set up factories nearby to take advantage of the labor.
Inside the Nazis` most notorious death camp
Primo Levi`s earliest account was a document detailing what happened inside the Nazis` most infamous death camp. Compiled with a fellow survivor at the request of their Soviet liberators, the Auschwitz Report is a work of restraint and lucidity. As it appears for the first time in English, we tell the story of how it came to be written. On 27 Jan 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated what was left of the network of camps near Oswiecim in southern Poland. The first part of the camp they stumbled upon was Buna-Monowitz aka Auschwitz III, a satellite of the central Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, which was run by the Nazis and IG Farben.
Saving the Auschwitz Oven Factory - Holocaust History
For years, the Topf & Söhne factory which manufactured the Auschwitz ovens has been sinking into disrepair. The major hurdle to creating a memorial -- which would be the first such monument to industrial involvement -- is likely to be money. Topf & Söhne began life in 1878 as a company producing industrial ovens and brewery equipment, and later crematoriums. During WWII the Nazi SS needed an efficient method for the disposal of the corpses piling up as the mass murder accelerated. Soon, Topf & Söhne engineers were busy calculating the most efficient way to burn thousands of dead bodies -- some employees even visited camps to assist in the installation of the ovens.
Requiem for the masses - Five orchestras playing at Auschwitz
How can music have happened at Auschwitz? At one point there were at least five orchestras playing there. Holocaust: A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz was a film about music in Auschwitz. Some of the surviving musicians - survivors because they were musicians - talked about having their music stolen from them by the SS officers for their own needs. Eva Adam had to sing as the trains arrived - lively songs so the people getting off those trains would think that it was all going to be all right, although Eva knew most of them would be dead within half an hour. And Anita Lasker-Wallfisch was made to play Schumann on the cello for Dr Mengele.
Rudolf Hoss - Commandant of Auschwitz (Article no longer available from the original source)
Hoess: "I must emphasise that I have never hated the Jews. It is true that I looked upon them as the enemies of our people. But I saw no difference between them and the other prisoners, and I treated them all in the same way." Before the war, the concentration camps had served the purpose of self-protection, but during the war they were primarily to serve the war effort, the munitions production. Every commandant had to run his camp ruthlessly with this end in view. The intention of the Reichsführer SS, Heinrich Himmler, was that Auschwitz should become one immense prison-cum-munitions centre.
1945: Auschwitz death camp liberated
The Red Army has liberated the Nazis` biggest concentration camp at Auschwitz in south-western Poland. According to reports, hundreds of thousands of Polish people, as well as Jews from a number of other European countries, have been held prisoner there in appalling conditions and many have been killed in the gas chambers. Few details have emerged of the capture of Auschwitz, which has gained a reputation as the most notorious of the Nazi death camps. Some reports say the German guards were given orders several days ago to destroy the crematoria and gas chambers.
Auschwitz: 60 Years Later and Basic Facts
Information about the infamous concentration camp: On January 27, 1945 around 3 pm, the first Red Army units entered the Auschwitz camps. Some 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, died at Auschwitz. They were killed in gas chambers or died of starvation or illness. Auschwitz is actually two main camps which sit 35 miles outside of Krakow, Poland. The Germans built five different crematorium and gas chamber facilities at Auschwitz. They varied in size. German officials said the smallest could burn 340 corpses a day and the two largest could handle 1440 corpses a day, each.
The IBM Link to Auschwitz
The infamous Auschwitz tattoo began as an IBM number. And now it`s been revealed that IBM machines were actually based at the infamous concentration-camp complex. The new revelation of IBM technology in the Auschwitz area constitutes a final link in the chain of documentation surrounding Big Blue`s vast enterprise in Nazi-occupied Poland, supervised at first directly from its New York headquarters, and later through its Geneva office. IBM spokesman Carol Makovich didn`t respond to repeated telephone calls. In the past, when asked about IBM`s Polish subsidiary`s involvement with the Nazis, Makovich has said, "IBM does not have much information about this period."