Where Did The Prisoners Sleep In Auschwitz? (RESOLVED)

Living conditions were poor, because the SS believed that prisoners deserved no better 🙌 Before the war, the SS still provided a bare minimum 🤓 During the war, conditions became deadly. Prisoners slept in broken-down barracks with leaking roofs. They were crammed onto tiny bunks, often without blankets, or directly onto muddy floors. Some prisoners had to sleep in flimsy tents or damp tunnels. Rations were cut, causing mass starvation. Hunger and disease turned many prisoners into living skeletons. Seriously ill prisoners had little hope of survival. Camp hospitals offered hardly any medical treatment. Instead, sick inmates were routinely executed or deported to die in other camps. [1]
A WVHA decree of March 31, 1942 established a minimum working day of eleven hours in all concentration camps. At Auschwitz, labor was one of the means used to destroy prisoners. They labored in various sectors of the economy. Initially, they worked at building the camp: leveling the ground, erecting new blocks and buildings, laying roads, and digging drainage ditches. Later, the industries of the Third Reich made increasing use of cheap prisoner labor. The pace of the work, the starvation rations of food, and constant beatings and abuse exacerbated the death rate. The German IG Farbenindustrie cartel, which built the Buna-Werke synthetic rubber and fuel factory at Monowice near Oswiecim, had priority in obtaining prisoner labor. The majority of the Auschwitz sub-camps were located near the mills, mines, and factories of Silesia. Prisoners dug coal, produced armaments and chemicals, and built and expanded industrial plants. (last emended 57 days ago by Lanora Shearer from Zhongshan, China) [2]
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According to Dixie Franks at holocaust.com.au, youth and fitness for work gained a prisoner a temporary reprieve from the gas chambers. From the time they entered Auschwitz-Birkenau, everything was done to debase and dehumanise the Jews who were not immediately gassed in order to rob them of their individuality. Prisoners were deprived of their clothing, given striped uniforms or poorly fitting clothes and had all their body hair shaved. Each of them was identified solely by the number he or she was designated. In some cases the numbers were tattooed onto their left arms. Prisoners were also distinguished by triangular pieces of cloth sewn onto their clothing — political prisoners a red triangle, Jehovah’s Witnesses purple, criminals green, Jews yellow and homosexuals pink. (thanks a ton to Jackqueline Inman for the heads up). [3]
Some inmates worked as forced laborers inside the camp, in the kitchen or as barbers, for example. Women often sorted the piles of shoes, clothes, and other prisoner belongings, which would be shipped back to Germany for use there. The storage warehouses at Auschwitz-Birkenau, located near two of the crematoria, were called “Canada,” because the Poles regarded that country as a place of great riches. At Auschwitz, as at hundreds of other camps in the Reich and occupied Europe where the Germans used forced laborers, prisoners were also employed outside the camps, in coal mines and rock quarries, and on construction projects, digging tunnels and canals. Under armed guard, they shoveled snow off roads and cleared rubble from roads and towns hit during air raids. A large number of forced laborers eventually were used in factories that produced weapons and other goods that supported the German war effort. Many private companies, such as I. G. Farben and Bavarian Motor Works (BMW), which produced automobile and airplane engines, eagerly sought the use of prisoners as a source of cheap labor. [4]

Article References

  1. http://www.camps.bbk.ac.uk/themes/daily-life.html
  2. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/living-conditions-labor-and-executions-at-auschwitz-birkenau
  3. https://www.holocaust.com.au/the-facts/the-outbreak-of-world-war-ii-and-the-war-against-the-jews/life-in-auschwitz/
  4. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/auschwitz-1
Kelly-Anne Kidston

Written by Kelly-Anne Kidston

I am a writer of many words, from fiction to poetry to reviews. I am an avid reader and a lover of good books. I am currently writing my first novel and would love to find some beta readers who are interested in getting an early look.

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