Auschwitz and Birkenau
Here was the ultimate Nazi killing machine, now a memorial
to its victims, estimated to have been 2-4,000,000 people, at
least half of whom were Jewish. There were two adjoining
camps, the original Auschwitz, and the far larger Birkenau.
Auschwitz is often the name used for both.
This page contains scenes from Birkenau, where up to 200,000
slave laborers at a time were worked and starved to death
next to the gas chambers and crematoriums. Above, looking
through the barbed wire, are Birkenau wooden barracks in
which prisoners, crammed together under horrible
conditions, often died of disease. A large number of these
barracks still stand.
The death trains, prisoners in cattle cars, came into Birkenau
through this entrance. Here is the best known Birkenau
picture that screams mass murder. The trains stopped and
unloaded their human cargo on a platform right next to the
gas chambers. Told they would be taking showers, most new
arrivals went directly to their deaths by lethal gas, and then
to the ovens. The Nazis blew up their gas chambers and
crematoriums before retreating. The rubble lies next to the
Young and strong prisoners deemed suitable for slave labor
might end up stuffed into one of the Birkenau barracks.
Faded now, this is prisoner art showing what they suffered
inside the barracks. Many such drawings are on display.
Another view from inside one of the Birkenau barracks.
Most visitors to Auschwitz do not see Birkenau. If you go
here, take the time to get a more complete picture by
walking through both Auschwitz and Birkenau.