Foundational Knowledge: Auschwitz



This sign, which hung over the entrance of Auschwitz until it was stolen, translates to “Work sets you free.” It was stolen in 2009 and later found destroyed.

Derby Roan, Managing Editor

Auschwitz was first constructed to hold Polish political prisoners, though it’s most commonly known for its role in the Holocaust.
From 1942-1944, at least 1.3 million Jews (and others with undesirable lifestyles) were transported to the camp, at least 1.1 million of whom died there. Some estimates are as high as 2-4 million casualties. Many were killed in gas chambers, or died from poor living conditions, exhaustion, executions or experimentation.
There were three main camps of Auschwitz and several sub-camps. Auschwitz I was the first camp. Auschwitz II was a concentration and extermination camp. Auschwitz III was a labor camp.
The camps were finally emptied in 1945. The camps were trashed and records were burnt. Only about 200,000 people are estimated to have survived.

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