The selection - Memory makes us free

The selection

Every time a train loaded with prisoners entered Auschwitz, the same terrible procedure was repeated: the selection.

Prima della selezione (Halina Olomucka) - Auschwitz
Before the selection – Mixed technique painting by Hakina Olomoucka – Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum – www.auschwitz.org
Deportati ad Auschwitz 2 in attesa della selezione
People deported to Auschwitz 2 waiting for the selection – Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum –www.auschwitz.org

The deportees had to get off the train leaving all their belongings next to the train, terrified, often in a silence which was deafening, families tried to reunite and everyone was promised that later they would regain their things and meet their wives, husbands and/or children again.

Disegno della selezione - Auschwitz 2
Drawing of the selection, unknown author – Auschwitz 2 – Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum –www.auschwitz.org

A group of SS appointed to briefly question some of the prisoners (“How old are you? Are you healthy or sick?), and immediately indicate them the direction to take… in a few minutes, groups of men able to work were formed.  The remaining, women over 29, children and men over 69, were swallowed up by the night and killed within two days. 

Famiglie di Ebrei in attesa della selezione - Auschwitz 2
Jewish families on hold of the selection – Auschwitz 2 – Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum – www.auschwitz.org
Disegno che ritrae i prigionieri inviati alle camere a gas - Auschwitz 2
Drawing of the prisoners sent to the gas chambers – Auschwitz 2 – Auschwitz Memorial and Museum – www.auschwitz.org
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