Auschwitz and the Final Solution

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  • Created on: 13-06-16 18:42
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  • Auschwitz and the Final Solution
    • In January 1942 a group of Nazis met to discuss the cheapest and quickest way to kill 11 million Jews
      • The Wannsee Conference led to the plan to kill the Jewish population using poison gas
        • Concentration camps became extermination camps
          • 150 German companies used Auschwitz prisoners and 1000s of ordinary Germans help with the process
    • 6 Major extermination or death camps placed around Nazi -occupied Europe would carry out the "Final Solution"
      • The first camp just inside the Polish border, near the border with Germany was ready within a month
        • This was Auschwitz
      • 1942: British and American governments received reports of concentration camps
    • When war broke out in 1939 th3 treatment of Jews got worse
      • Einsatzgruppen rounded up Jews in towns all over Europe
        • They would take them to the countryside, made to dig a trench before being shot. The trench became their mass grave
      • In bigger cities with larger populations of Jews, bricked off separate sections of the city called a ghetto. Jews were forced to live here and food, water and power were cut off resulting in hundreds of deaths each day
    • Shooting and Ghettos were regarded as slow methods of killing and the Nazis needed a faster system of killing thousands of people at once, so they created their death camps
      • By the end of the war, six million people mainly Jews had been murdered in death camps like Auschwitz
        • It had been estimated that on average 4000 people were murdered every day for four years in these camps
    • During the first few months of 1942, Jews in every country where the Nazis ruled were taken from Ghettos and put on cattle trains
      • They were joined as prisoners by thousands of Gypsies, homosexuals, political opponents, the chronically sick and any other religious and minority group e.g. Slavs who the Nazis regarded to be unfit to live
        • When the arrived at a death camp, the prisoners were immediately sorted into two groups by a Nazi doctor: those who looked over 15 years old and were strong and healthy were sent to the left
          • The old, sick, women and mothers with young children were sent to the right
            • Those on the left (10-20%) were put to work helping camp guards to kill those on the right
              • Any refusals would result in an immediate death sentence


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