Hi I am Natalia Krasovitzky. We all know what happened during WWII but do you know the truth about Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of the biggest and worst concentration camp during WWII? Auschwitz opened in 1940 and was used until 1945 when the camp was liberated at the of WWII. Even though it was used only for 5 years over 1 million people died in the camp. Among them were 960,000 Jews , 74,00 Poles, Roma 21,000, and 30,000 others.
Auschwitz was first a concentration camp from 1940-1942. Soon after Hitler’s Final Solution, his plan to exterminate all Jews, came into action. Auschwitz- Birkenau was expanded and became a slave labor camp and a death camp. People were sent to Auschwitz if they were Jewish or other enemies of the Nazis. Hostages were taken to the prison or the labor camps unless they were immediately taken to the death chamber. Every hostage had their head shaved and were given a tattoo of an identification number on their left forearm. In the prison they were kept hostage and were eventually killed. In the labor camp, women usually had to work in the kitchen and had to also organize prisoner belongings which would be shipped to Germany. Other prisoners had to work in coal mines, rock quarries, digging tunnels, and many other things. This camp had the largest number of prisoners compared to the other concentration camps. Prisoners were also tested in medical experimentation, usually kids, and especially twins. In the death chambers people were told they were going to the camps, but they had to take a shower first. They were asked to undress and then they were taken to a big room which was the gas chamber. When they were locked in, Zyklon B gas came out from the side of the building. As the gas filled the chamber, there was less oxygen for the people to breath, which led to suffocation. The soldiers would then come in and strip the dead of all their jewelry or metal dental work. Then they would burn or bury their bodies.
This was horrible but finally ended in 1945. Jews were almost completely decimated but were able to come back and be accepted by people all around the world Even though the world will never be the same after 1939 when the war started, it’s getting better, people are accepting each other more every day. Auschwitz taught many people how cruel people can be but, it also showed us how lucky we are and fortunate to live in a society of people that accept us for who we are because not everyone gets that opportunity. We are lucky to come to a great school where everyone is accepted where it doesn’t matter your gender, race, religion etc. So, even though Auschwitz was awful, it showed us how privileged we are that we get to go to a great school, have a roof over our heads, having delicious food, and so much more but especially being accepted among other people.