The book “Night” and its topic of the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald is very essential to the story. Wiesel describes these camps with great detail and emotion which got my attention and curiosity. With the research I have collected I learned that Auschwitz and Buchenwald were two major concentration camps to the Nazis in Germany that were mainly for either executing prisoners or forcing them to work in a variety of different fields. These two camps were known more as complexes due to the many sub camps both Auschwitz and Buchenwald had. Concentration camps were a key to the Nazi’s plan of annihilation of people who they had no interest in, either because of their racial or social qualities. Some examples included Jews, prisoners of war, bisexuals, and the mentally disordered.
Auschwitz was a complex that contained three main camps that were near Oswiecim, a Polish city. Laurence Rees, an author of a PBS film series of Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State says, “More people died on that one single spot than the British and the Americans lost militarily in the course of the entire war”.They were Auschwitz I, or known as Auschwitz-Birkenau , and Auschwitz II or known as Buna or Monowitz. “Commanders of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex were: SS Lieutenant Colonel Rudolf Hoess from May 1940 until November 1943; SS Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Liebehenschel from November 1943 until mid-May 1944; and SS Major Richard Baer from mid-May 1944 until January 27, 1945.” (The Holocaust Museum) Anne Frank, was known to have been transferred to Auschwitz for several months. Auschwitz I was established in May of 1940. The first prisoners were German and Polish prisoners that were sent for the use of physical labor for advancing the camp’s barrier. Other than labor, prisoners were also sent to Auschwitz I to be eliminated. This is when certain groups of people were murdered by either being cremated in the crematorium or gassed in the gas chambers. Both of these dreadful acts of murder were cruel and inhumane. Auschwitz I was also a camp where many scientist and doctors performed a variety of experiments on living slaves. One doctor that is well known for his cruel and inhumane experiments was Dr. Josef Mengle. He had a huge fascination for experimenting on twins.
“Auschwitz II was built in the proximity of the town Brzezinka in October 1941.”The camp included sections for women, men, a family camp for Roma (Gypsies) deported from Germany, Austria and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and a family camp for Jewish families deported from the Theresienstadt ghetto.” (Holocaust Museum) It contained the largest capacity of prisoners out of all the camps of the Auschwitz Complex. The main use of Auschwitz II or Auschwitz-Birkenau was to eliminate mainly Jewish civilians of Europe. This plan came from the Nazis Government, who thought the plan would be beneficial to prevent rebellion of the European Jews. This plan did have a huge effect on the European Jews, but not as big as the forty three percent of the refugee Jewish population that had been exterminated. Trains would drop off transportees of Jews from Europe frequently. A great majority of the transportees wouldn’t even make it to the camp alive due to the harsh conditions of hunger and starvation the prisoners would have to go through. Auschwitz III also known as Buna or Monowitz, was built in the Polish town of Monowice in October of 1942. The camp of Auschwitz III was held for prisoners to work in many various types of laborious acts. Prisoners that were selected to work were tattooed with a number of identification from Auschwitz I. From Auschwitz I, they would then be transferred to Auschwitz II as well as 39 other sub camps that were located within the area of the camp. These camps were involved in laborious acts such as farming in fields, coal mining in caves and quarries, and fishing in ponds and lakes. With the amount of food and water they...
Bibliography: ““The Camps”. A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust. Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida, 2005.Web.
“The Auschwitz Complex”. Auschwitz. ARC, June 11, 2006.Web.
“Admissions and Deaths of Buchenwald”. The Jewish Virtual Library. The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2012. Web.
“Life Inside the Camps”. Tablet. Robert Zaretsky. Nextbook Inc., 2012.
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