late 1930's the Nazis killed thousands of handicapped Germans by
lethal injection and poisonous gas. After the German invasion of
the Soviet Union in June 1941, mobile killing units following in
the wake of the German Army began shooting massive numbers of Jews
and Gypsies in open fields and ravines on the outskirts of
conquered cities and towns.
Eventually the Nazis created a more secluded and organized method
of killing. Extermination centers were established in occupied
Poland with special apparatus especially designed for mass murder.
Giant death machines.
Auschwitz-Birkenau became the killing centre where the
largest numbers of European Jews were killed. By mid 1942, mass
gassing of Jews using Zyklon-B began at Auschwitz, where
extermination was conducted on an industrial scale with some
estimates running as high as three million persons eventually
killed through gassing, starvation, disease, shooting, and burning.
9 out of 10 were Jews. In addition, Gypsies, Soviet POWs, and
prisoners of all nationalities died in the gas chambers.
Auschwitz-Birkenau was located nearby the provincial Polish town
of Oshwiecim in Galacia, and was established by order of Heinrich
Himmler on 27 April 1940. Private diaries of Goebbels and Himmler
unearthed from the secret Soviet archives show that Adolf
Hitler personally ordered the mass extermination of the Jews -
as Goebbels wrote "With regards to the Jewish question,
the Fuhrer decided to make a clean sweep ..."