Auschwitz I Archivi - Memory makes us free

The history of Auschwitz

Auschwitz (Konzentrationslager Auschwitz), a name to which memories and feelings of terror, destruction and death are associated all over the world, was opened in 1940, in the town of Oswiecim, in south-western Poland occupied by the Nazis, and was initially only one of the thousands concentration camps scattered throughout Europe, dedicated to Polishes imprisonment. Auschwitz… Continua a leggere The history of Auschwitz

Auschwitz I camp’s signboard

ARBEIT MACHT FREI, in Italian, ‘work makes you free’, is the motto that gave “welcome” to prisoners in the concentration camp. The phrase was inspired by the title of a novel (1872) written by the German writer Lorenz Diefenbach. It was in 1940 that the sign was placed at the entrance gate of the Auschwitz… Continua a leggere Auschwitz I camp’s signboard

The evidence of the committed crimes

WARNING Some of the following images are particularly hard and direct and might hurt your sensitivity. Despite the constant, indeed increasing, presence of revisionists and deniers, the concentration and extermination camps that were not completely destroyed by the Nazis are still full of objective, sometimes truly horrible, testimonies of the committed crimes. Here are some… Continua a leggere The evidence of the committed crimes

Auschwitz’s eyes

Those who visit Auschwitz I will certainly find themselves walking along a not very long -but almost endless- corridor, covered with photos of the prisoners’ faces.  Most of these photos are of non-Jews because Jews were not photographed at the entrance, except for a few for propaganda (and no Italian Jews at all). It is… Continua a leggere Auschwitz’s eyes

Gas chambers

In late 1939, the Nazis began experimenting poison gas to eliminate people with mental problems; Dissatisfied with the result, in June 1941 they experimented “gas vans”:  sealed vans where gases were released. The prisoners renamed them “death trucks“, in fact they were used for the Jews’ extermination (before the gas chambers).  This technique, however, did… Continua a leggere Gas chambers

Crematorium ovens

When the Nazis solved the ‘’problem of mass extermination’’, adopting the use of gas chambers, another obstacle immediately appeared: the excessive number of corpses which were difficult to hide; therefore they decided to resolve the issue internally, in each field using crematorium ovens in order to cremate as quickly as possible reducing the corpse in… Continua a leggere Crematorium ovens

The Death Wall

The wall of executions, also called “black wall” (the one you see has been rebuilt) was a wooden, sand wall at the end of a courtyard that separated blocks 10 and 11 of Auschwitz 1, used for the execution of prisoners.  The blocks were masonry buildings that formed the central core of the camp. Most… Continua a leggere The Death Wall

Roll call court

Habitual, tiring and alienating activities were how the prisoners spent their days. Roll call was a clear example of it.  The thousands of prisoners of the field had to stand during roll call which was held in this square. As the field, and the number of inhabitants grew, roll call was held in more places,… Continua a leggere Roll call court

The fences

The entire Auschwitz camp was, and still is, surrounded by a barbed wire fence, tens of kilometres of metal cable that was electrified and guarded by SS armed with machine guns and rifles. For some prisoners that barbed wire ended up representing the most terrible shortcut to death, many of them in fact decided that… Continua a leggere The fences

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