Construction on Auschwitz II Birkenau opened in October 1941 in an attempt to ease congestion at the main camp. It was designed as an extermination camp in preparations for the Final Solution of the Jewish Question. The idea of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Luitpold Himmler.
Immediately after disembarking from the train, the Jews had to
form two columns: women and children in one, and men in the other. SS physicians
and male nurses then conducted a selection on the ramp.
Before 1942 a railways siding known as the "Judenrampe"
They divided the strong and healthy from the elderly, the ill, pregnant women, and children. Those classified as fit for work were placed in the camp. The others, usually 70-75% of the transport, were sent to their death in the gas chambers
About three-quarters of each load, went to the gas chambers of Auschwitz II Birkenau within a few hours; they included all children, all women with children, all the elderly, and all those who appeared on brief and superficial inspection by an SS doctor not to be fully fit. In the Auschwitz Birkenau camp more than 20,000 people could be gassed and cremated each day.
Paul & Jay paying their respects at the "Black Pond" The place where many of the ashes from the crematoriums were dumped.
Those chosen for labour were billeted in the old brick built barracks and wooden cattle shed type barns
There was a men's camp Männerlager and an sector that had an annex for Jewish and non-Jewish women,
Some pictures from inside the brick barracks
The remains in the back ground are from the "Barns" being burned to the ground after the war as the camp was rife with Typhus and many other dieses.
The inside of "a Barn" the three high beds would of filled the place. The "Barn" toilet block
One of the labour tasks for selected women was to work in "Canada", This was the part of Birkenau where prisoners' belongings were sorted for use by Germans. The name "Canada" meant land of plenty. The expression comes from the time when Polish emigrants were sending gifts home from Canada. The store houses were for housing the belongings looted from the prisoners. During the liquidation of the camp in January 1945, the SS set the warehouses on fire in order to eliminate evidence of their crimes.
Piles of debris from the store rooms now under a glass case on site
Some finds from "Canada" 5
Miles of Barbed wire still surrounds surrounds the camp
Well That's the end of another crazy adventure.
Contact us if you have an idea for a search or an adventure.