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In the 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.

Six such death camps existed: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka. Large-scale murder by gas and body disposal through cremation were conducted systematically by the Nazis and Adolf Hitler's SS men ..

Victims were deported to these centers from Western Europe and from the ghettos in Eastern Europe which the Nazis had established. In addition, millions died in the ghettos and concentration camps as a result of forced labor, starvation, exposure, brutality, disease, and execution.

 

 

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 ..."

There are horrifying stories of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the fanatical, ruthless SS-men. And there are stories to bear witness to goodness - in Auschwitz the missionary Jane Haining refused to reject her children and showed herself to be a saint. And Oscar Schindler came to Auschwitz to save 300 Schindler-women from certain death. He managed to do it - the only shipment out of the Nazi death camp during WW2 ..

 

 

 

Louis Bülow  - ©2016-18
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