The language of the concentration camps… - Memory makes us free

The language of the concentration camps…

Death angel: the Ss operating the gas chamber.

Antreten zum appell (stand up for the roll call): it was the daily cry that alerted the prisoners that the terrible Nazi roll call was about to begin

Bahnhof (railway station): in Mauthausen, cell where the dying people were left.

Canada: in Auschwitz was the warehouse where all the objects belonging to the prisoners were kept.

Retirement home: Hartheim’s castle, where elderly and sick deportees were sent from Mauthausen to be gassed.

Convalescentiary of Mittelwerde: name of a place that perhaps does not exist that indicated the gas chamber.

Dreck (dung,slush): the corpses.

Durch Den Kamin (through the chimney): it was basically the only way out of the extermination camps, through the chimney.

Ein Laus, dein Tod (a louse, your death): hygienic precept that has become a categorical imperative in the fields, after the petrochemical typhus epidemics

Entlassung (resignation, leave): resignation, leave.

Figuren (figures): the workers who burned corpses.

Fenster (window): the triangle of coloured fabric, sewn on the deportee’s jacket and trousers.

Fressen (animal feed): the prisoners’ food.

Geben zu fressen (feed): the introduction of Zyklon B grains into the gas chambers.

Grossnummer (big number): the deportee who most recently arrived in the camp.  The first to arrive were called “small numbers”.

Gummi (rubber): the whip of about 2 meters, with a core of braided wire and covered with rubber, used for punishments.

Makkaroni: it is clearly an offensive way in which prisoners of Italian nationality were indicated.

Mexico: the women’s section of the Auschwitz camp.

Death by change of air: killing a prisoner with a barrel or blow with a stick.

Wall of the paratroopers: the stone staircase of the quarry of Mauthausen, from which many prisoners jumped to commit suicide

Muselmann (mussulman): debilitated skeletal prisoner from hunger.

Organisation (organization): get busy, get by, sneak up to survive.

Paratroopers: the suicides who threw themselves from the stairs of the Mauthausen quarry

Step Buchenwald: the slow and difficult pace of the deportees near death due to starvation.

Píepel: little boy object of attention by a homosexual kapo.

Pitchipoi: name of a fictional place that indicated the destination (often the extermination camp) of a convoy of prisoners.

Sauna: the gas chamber disguised as a shower.

Sport: punitive physical exercises, not infrequently fatal, imposed by the SS on prisoners.

Strasse (street): the central shaving of the hair, three fingers wide, from the forehead to the nape, imposed on the prisoner as a sign of recognition.

Weg zur Himmelfahrt (road to ascension): killing in the death camps.

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