ARBEIT MACHT FREI
Arbeit Macht Frei or “Labour makes you free” is posted over the entrance to the Stammlager. That slogan must be the most sadistic/subliminal phrase ever conceived by the human mind. Between 1942 and 1945 over one million pair of eyes have seen it and knew exactly what it meant. Working to death.
And that, in case you haven’t ended up in the gas chamber, in front of the execution wall, getting hanged or if they really wanted to punish you, starving. The slow death.
For many poor people that ended in here by chance or destiny this was to be the last place they’d see. A fate probably far more terrible than facing the war outside those walls. Many of the prisoners must have thought death was an easy way out. Some tried to escape, few of them successfully, others were caught and brought back only to be shot or tortured to death.
The place was originally built to be a camp for polish resistance members, but after the executions began, it was russian prisoners, gypsies and mostly jews swelling its numbers.
The original Auschwitz camp consisted of 30 barracks or blocks used to house the prisoners/victims, but it soon became congested since they were coming in from all parts of Europe. So, Auschwitz II – Birkenau was built to encamp many more thousands. This time they did it properly; 100 barracks.
Life in the camp consisted of many torments and little to look forward to. Families were broken, mothers lost their children, fathers were sent to back breaking work. It all began at the Rail station. Every day, trains were coming in with people from everywhere. Once they got off they had to go through The Selection. The SS were dividing them up according to utility. Men able to work on one side, mothers, children on the other.
Women and children were the first to be executed. As soon as they stepped off the train, they were taken to the camp, stripped of their clothes, unknowingly led to take a “shower”. They wouldn’t survive the next hours.
They were taken to one of the grimmest places on earth, where death was standardized, industrialized and administered.
The Gas Chamber
Once you walked through that black door, there was no turning back.
Each day, there were hundreds of people going in at a time.
Can you see them standing in line in front of that door, waiting for their turn? It’s sad that this building was their last memory on earth.
Speech (paraphrased) given by Obersturmführer Franz Hössler to a group of Greek Jews in the undressing room shortly before the group was led into the gas chamber to be killed:
“On behalf of the camp administration I bid you welcome. This is not a holiday resort but a labor camp. Just as our soldiers risk their lives at the front to gain victory for the Third Reich, you will have to work here for the welfare of a new Europe. How you tackle this task is entirely up to you. The chance is there for every one of you. We shall look after your health, and we shall also offer you well-paid work. After the war we shall assess everyone according to his merits and treat him accordingly.”
“Now, would you please all get undressed. Hang your clothes on the hooks we have provided and please remember your number [of the hook]. When you’ve had your bath there will be a bowl of soup and coffee or tea for all. Oh yes, before I forget, after your bath, please have ready your certificates, diplomas, school reports and any other documents so that we can employ everybody according to his or her training and ability.”
The saddest place on earth.
Once inside, this was the last door you’d ever see.
And this; probably the last sight in life.
The SS were pouring the Cyclone B through holes in the ceiling, which coincidentally were the only place where air was coming in. After it had been poured, it slowly settled on the floor. The victims, trying to get another breath of air were climbing on top of each other, and at the end of the gassing a pyramid of corpses had formed inside the chamber. Some were too weak to move, some were trampled upon, but in 15 to 20 minutes all of them were dead.
Can you see the fingernails that scratched these walls?
Once the killing was done, the corpses were taken straight to the ovens to be cremated in the next room. Prisoners were usually forced to do the job. Imagine them opening the door only to find a pyramid of hundreds of people piled up inside.
Behind the gas chamber there was also a hanging, where various other executions took place under SS supervision.
The Execution Wall
At the peak of it’s efficiency, the camp was boasting 25000 deaths a day. That’s more than 1000 an hour, 16 a minute, one roughly every 4 seconds. 1,2,3..4.
Block 10, the medical experimentation block was the testing laboratory of doctor Josef Mengele. Block 11 was the “prison within the prison”. Some were sentenced to spend the nights in the “standing cells”, a place so narrow that you could hardly bend your legs. There was utter darkness and just a tiny hole for air to get in. If you survived the claustrophobia panic attacks, the lack of oxygen, the pain in your legs and body, the screams and cries, in the morning you’d be taken to work. Upon your return, you were taken back inside. And maybe, just maybe, it’s winter and just maybe the man in the other cell died. A couple of nights in there and you are destroyed.
This was by far the most infamous and diabolic means of torture I’ve ever seen.
Through corridors of countless pictures I noticed that once you were in, you had an average of 6 to 8 months before you died. By that time chances are you turned into a human skeleton. You either were too weak/thin to work, exhausted, gassed, executed or plainly starved to death.
Evidence of Murder
These images need no explanation.
That’s right. Those are glasses.
Human hair was put in bags and sold by the kilogram to the german textile industry.
Cyclone B(Zyklon B) cans.
The methodology behind murder.
I want you to take a good, long look at this picture at Full Resolution. Click it and zoom in.
Some things are never to be forgotten. In this small town in Poland, the greatest genocide in human history happened. Let us be reminded once again what a Beast man can be!
Everyone should visit this place at least once in a lifetime.