Auschwitz concentration camp (German: Konzentrationslager Auschwitz, also KZ Auschwitz [kɔntsɛntʁaˈtsi̯oːnsˌlaːgɐ ˈʔaʊʃvɪts]) was a network of German Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. It consisted of Auschwitz I (the original camp), Auschwitz II–Birkenau (a combination concentration/extermination camp), Auschwitz III–Monowitz (a labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory), and 45 satellite camps.
Auschwitz I was first constructed to hold Polish political prisoners, who began to arrive in May 1940. The first extermination of prisoners took place in September 1941, and Auschwitz II–Birkenau went on to become a major site of the Nazi Final Solution to the Jewish Question. From early 1942 until late 1944, transport trains delivered Jews to the camp’s gas chambers from all over German-occupied Europe, where they were killed with the pesticide Zyklon B. At least 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz, around 90 percent of them Jewish; approximately 1 in 6 Jews killed in the Holocaust died at the camp. Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Romani and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses, and tens of thousands of others of diverse nationalities, including an unknown number of homosexuals. Many of those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.
In the course of the war, the camp was staffed by 7,000 members of the German Schutzstaffel (SS), approximately 12 percent of whom were later convicted of war crimes. Some, including camp commandant Rudolf Höss, were executed. The Allied Powers refused to believe early reports of the atrocities at the camp, and their failure to bomb the camp or its railways remains controversial. One hundred forty-four prisoners are known to have escaped from Auschwitz successfully, and on October 7, 1944, two Sonderkommando units—prisoners assigned to staff the gas chambers—launched a brief, unsuccessful uprising.
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Keywords: Holocaust, Shoah, Nazi concentration camps, Nuremberg Laws, Extermination camp, Final Solution, Jewish question, Auschwitz concentration camp, Auschwitz, Nazi Germany, Jews destroyed, Genocide, Concentration camps, Jewish genocide, Jews genocide, Holocaust of the Jewish people, How many Jews died in the Holocaust, Two thirds, Six million, Six million Jews, Six million Jews died, 6 million, 6 million Jews, 6 million Jews died, 9 million, Nine million, 9 million Jews, Nine Million Jews, Jews Holocaust, World War II, World War 2, ethnic cleansing, racial extermination, extermination, Oscar Schindler, Oskar Schindler, Schindler, Wallenberg, Raoul Wallenberg, Raul Wallenberg, Hitler, Adolf Hitler, Adolph Hitler, German Nazis, Schindler's List, Third Reich
Bible reference(s): Esther 3:6, Esther 3:8-9, Esther 3:11, Esther 3:13, Esther 4:8, Esther 7:3-4, Esther 8:6, Psalm 83:4, Psalm 137:7, Isaiah 43:2, Jeremiah 5:18, Jeremiah 30:11, Jeremiah 30:7, Jeremiah 31:36, Jeremiah 46:28, Jeremiah 48:2, Zechariah 13:7-8, Matthew 27:25
Source: This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Auschwitz concentration camp,” which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
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