22 November 2008

stalag 13

Auschwitz I / Auschwitz, Poland
This was not the set of Hogan's Heroes, the American television comedy from the mid/late 60's set in a German prisoner of war camp known as Stalag 13 during the Second World War. This is indeed the harsh reality of Auschwitz I, the original concentration camp which served as the administrative center for the whole Auschwitz complex - the site of the deaths of roughly 70,000 people, mostly Poles and Soviet prisoners of war. Opened in 1939 on the site of an old Polish army barracks, the camp was initially used for interning Polish intellectuals and resistance movement members, then also for Soviet Prisoners of War. Common German criminals, and other "anti-social elements" of society were also imprisoned there. In 1940, the German began sending Jews there, as well. At any time, the camp held between 13,000 and 16,000 inmates; by 1942 the number reached 20,000.

2 comments:

Chaim Schwartz said...

"70000 people, mostly Poles and Soviet prisoners of war"??? Are you some kind of Holocaust denier, or just ignorant?

How about "The estimated number of deaths: 2.1 to 2.5 million killed in gas chambers, of whom about 2 million were Jews, and Poles, Gypsies and Soviet POWs (This estimated number of death is considered by historians as a strict minimum. The real number of deaths is unknown but probably much higher, maybe 4 millions). About 330,000 deaths from other causes.

exfactor said...

Dear Chaim Schwartz -
I am neither a Holocaust denier or ignorant. Perhaps if you read my post correctly, you would see that I was specifically referring to Auschwitz I which is where the photo was taken. It was the original extermination camp in Auschwitz and did indeed serve as the site of over 70,000 horrific deaths but was quickly turned over to administrative activities once Auschwitz II (Birkenau) and other camps were opened where, as you say, millions and millions of innocent men, women and children were senselessly exterminated.