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An Annotated Bibliography: Auschwitz

Trevor Mendola
Ms. Schmidt
Honors English 9
April 6, 2016

"Auschwitz." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial
Council, 29 Jan. 2016. Web. 02 Apr. 2016.
The Auschwitz concentration camp complex was the largest camp complex established
by the Nazis. The complex featured three main camps, Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II, or
Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III, also known as Buna or Monowitz. 1.1 million
people out of the 1.3 million deported to the Auschwitz complex were killed at these
camps, with 960,000 of them were Jews. Auschwitz I was constructed near Oswiecim in
April 1940. Auschwitz I was built for three main purposes, to hold enemies of the Nazi
regime, to provide forced labor, and to eliminate targeted groups of people. Medical
experiments were also conducted at the complex by Dr. Josef Mengele. AuschwitzBirkenau was constructed in Brzezinka in October 1941. This camp had the largest
prisoner population. It also contained a killing center, and played a major role in the
Germans final solution, as it was the first place where Zyklon B was introduced and
tested, and four crematorium buildings. Gassing exterminations continued at AuschwitzBirkenau until November 1944. Auschwitz III, also known as Monowitz or Buna, was
built in October 1942 on the outskirts of a small village known as Monowice. The camp
housed prisoners forced to do labor at the Buna synthetic rubber works. Auschwitz III
also had a Labor Education Camp for non-Jewish prisoners who violated Germanimposed labor discipline. On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces entered Auschwitz,
Birkenau, and Monowitz and liberated around 7,000 ill and dying prisoners.

"AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU." Auschwitz-Birkenau. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2016.

Auschwitz was first founded in 1940. It was first built as a concentration camp for
political prisoners. The camp was used to slowly kill these people through inhuman
conditions and intense labor. From the beginning of 1942 to the end of 1944, Auschwitz
served as concentration camp for prisoners and laborers, but also as the largest mass
extermination center of Jewish people. Since it was difficult to run such a large complex,
Auschwitz was divided into three main camps on November 22, 1943. Auschwitz I was
the home of the main offices of the political department and the prisoner labor
department. There were also many supply stores and workshops. Forced labor in this
camp was work in these fields. Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, was the largest of all of the 40
camps and sub-camps that made up the Auschwitz complex. When it opened in October
1941, it served as a POW camp. It became a part of Auschwitz in March 1942. It was a
center for Jewish extermination. 90% of the people killed at the Auschwitz complex were
killed in Birkenau. Auschwitz III, or Monowitz, was labeled as the industrial sub-camp.
People here would work at a synthetic rubber factory, Buna. Conditions in the Auschwitz
complex were brutal. Water was gathered from two wells. At first, prisoners used outdoor
facilities, but as the camp went under more and more construction, latrines were built in
each barrack, but access was limited. Barracks were cramped so diseases ran rampant in
the complex. Food was also an issue, as prisoners received very small rations. This
caused many people to die of disease, starvation, or dehydration. As the Soviets
approached the complex, people were evacuated, but the sick could stay behind and be
liberated. On January, 1945, the Auschwitz complex was liberated by the Soviet army.

History.com Staff. "Auschwitz." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2009. Web. 02
Apr. 2016.
After the start of World War II, Adolf Hitler implemented a policy known as the Final
Solution. This policy began with the dehumanization of the Jews of Europe, they were
stripped of their rights and lost citizenship. This was not enough. Hitler believed the only
way to fix the Jewish problem would be through the mass extermination of all Jews. He
also aimed to destroy all threats to the master race, which included gypsies, homosexuals,
the mentally and physically handicapped, and other humans who were deemed unfit. In
order to carry out this operation, Hitler ordered the construction of death camps, the
largest of which being Auschwitz. Auschwitz was opened in 1940, and initially was built
to detain political prisoners, and enemies of the Nazis. Once the Final Solution became a
Nazi policy, Auschwitz was deemed suitable to function as a death camp. Not all sent to
Auschwitz were killed on the spot, some prisoners became forced laborers. Auschwitz
had three main subdivisions, Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz. Birkenau was the
most notorious for killing, while Monowitz was a subcamp that held many slave-laborers.
By 1942, the majority of people sent to Auschwitz were Jewish. Upon arrival, people
were examined by Nazi officers. The physically unfit were immediately gassed or burnt
alive. Those deemed fit would be subject to intense labor, and would most likely,
eventually die from being overworked, diseases, starvation, dehydration, or other issues
caused by living in brutal conditions. People were also subject to medical examination
led by Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death. He conducted awful experiments on people,
especially on twins. He would kill twins and perform autopsies on them at the same time,
in the same manner. By the end of 1944, Nazis began destroying evidence of the

Holocaust. By January 1945, the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz and saved around
7,600 people who were left behind at the camps. Between 1.1 to 1.5 million people were
believed to be killed at Auschwitz.

Wiesel, Elie, and Marion Wiesel. Night. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, a Division of Farrar,
Straus and Giroux, 2006. Print.
In Night, Elie Wiesel was first taken Auschwitz-Birkenau. When he arrived there, he and
his father were selected to be forced laborers. Elie was separated from his mother and
sister, and they were presumably killed immediately. Elie is a forced laborer for a long
time and he lives in the brutal conditions He is sent to Auschwitz. He suffers from
disease, dehydration, and starvation, but still survives. Eventually, he is sent to Auschwitz
III, Buna, where he worked in a synthetic rubber factory. His experience at the Auschwitz
complex comes to an end when the Soviets were closing in. instead of running the risk of
staying behind at Auschwitz and possibly being liberated, he and his father went on the
death march and end up in a different camp, known as Buchenwald. He learned later
about the liberation of Auschwitz and how he and his father could have been saved. His
father died at Buchenwald. Elie Wiesel has lived with the horrors of Auschwitz and his
fathers death ever since.