Aushwitz

Aushwitz - Aushwitz : (1) INTRODUCTION The Holocaust is the...

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Aushwitz : (1) INTRODUCTION The Holocaust is the most horrifying crime against humanity of all times. "Hitler, in an attempt to establish the pure Aryan race, decided that all mentally ill, gypsies, non supporters of Nazism, and Jews were to be eliminated from the German population. He proceeded to reach his goal in a systematic scheme." One of his main methods of "doing away" with these "undesirable" was through the use of concentration camps. "In January 1941, in a meeting with his top officials the 'final solution' was decided". Jews were to be eliminated from the population. Auschwitz was the concentration camp that carried out Hitler's "final solution" in greater numbers than any other. In this paper I will discuss concentration camps with a detailed description of the most well- known one, Auschwitz. (2) CONCENTRATION CAMPS The first concentration camps were set up in 1933. In the early days of Hitler, concentration camps were places that held people in protective custody. Victims for protective custody included those who were both physically and mentally ill, gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses, Jews and anyone against the Nazi regime. "Gypsies were classified as people with atleast two gypsy great grandparents." By the end of 1933 there were atleast fifty concentration camps throughout occupied Europe. "At first, the camps were controlled by the Gestapo (police), but by 1934 the S.S. (Hitler's personal security force) were ordered, by Hitler, to control the camps." Camps were set up for different purposes. Some for forced labor, others for medical experiments and, later on, for death/ extermination. Transition camps were set up as holding places for death camps. "Henrick Himmler, chief of the German police, the Gestapo, thought that the camps would provide an economic base for the soldiers." This did not happen. The work force was poorly organized and working conditions were inhumane. Therefore, productivity was minimal. Camps were set up along railroad lines, so that the prisoners would be conveniently close to their destination. As they were being transported, the soldiers kept telling the Jews to have hope. (3) When the camps were finally opened, most of the families who were shipped out together ended up being separated. Often, the transports were a sampling of what went on in the camps, cruelty by the officers, near starvation of those being transported, fetid and unsanitary conditions on the trains. "On the trains, Jews were starved of food and water for days. Many people did not survive the ride to arrive at the camp." Jews were forced to obey the guard's orders from the moment they arrived at the camps. "If they didn't, they would be beaten, put into solitary confinement or shot." The prisoners usually had marks on their clothes or numbers on their arms to identify them. The sanitary conditions of the camps were horrible. "There was only one bathroom for four hundred people. They had to stand for hours in snow, rain, heat, or cold for
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course EN 01012 taught by Professor Carey during the Spring '07 term at BC.

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Aushwitz - Aushwitz : (1) INTRODUCTION The Holocaust is the...

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