Auschwitz is the name given to a complex of concentration camps set up by the Nazis, the three major camps in this complex were Auschwitz 1, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Monowitz-Buna. There were 43 sub-camps in the areas surrounding these main camps.
Auschwitz 1 (set up in 1940 and was originally a Polish military barrack) and Monowitz-Buna (created in 1942) were concentration camps where the 'prisoners' were subjected to forced labour either in the camps or in nearby factories.
|Gates to Auschwitz 1 with the phrase 'Work makes you free'|
Auschwitz-Birkenau, set up in 1942, was a camp whose sole purpose was to exterminate people. Over one million people were murdered there. People were deported to Auschwitz from all over Europe; Hungary, Greece, France, Italy, the Channel Islands and countless other countries. They arrived in Cattle trains and on arrival were split into two lines; men and women. The people in these lines were then sent to the left or the right. With the flick of a wrist from Doctor Mengele (infamous for the experiments he carried on, especially on dwarfs and twins) people were either sent directly to the gas chambers or sent to work the camp. At this spot families and loved ones were separated. Imagine the confusion, the hysteria, being forced to disembark the hideous conditions of the trains, then you are being barked at my ferocious dogs, beaten with truncheons and screamed at in a language you dont understand and then being separated from your loved ones, never having the opportunity to say goodbye to to tell them you love them. The destruction of love is the Holocaust.
|The gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau|
It is an incredibly harrowing experience going to Auschwitz and despite the fact that we have been there a combined total of eight times it never gets any easier, you just get deeper into the story.