Auschwitz Opens for Operation, 1940
Updated: Jun 15, 2021
On This Day in Jewish History: June 14, 1940 ☠ https://www.instagram.com/p/CBbFcErlH-d/
Auschwitz officially opened for operation. The first mass transport of people, largely consisting of Jews, political prisoners and Catholic Priests arrived at Auschwitz in the summer of 1940. . .
Auschwitz, the most well known Nazi death camp and centerpiece of today's general understanding of the Holocaust, was a complex that consisted of over forty barracks located in Germany-Occupied Poland. The main camp was Auschwitz I, a labor camp turned death camp. “The difficulties in running such a large camp complex led to its formal division on November 22, 1943 into three camps with considerable autonomy.” Auschwitz II-Birkenau, which opened in March 1942 and served as a labor and death camp, equipped with a number of gas chambers. Auschwitz III-Monowitz was an additional concentration and labor camp built in 1942 and used primarily to facilitate the Buna Werke chemical factory. .
The Allies bombed Monowitz four times, all during the last year of the war. Infamously, there were opportunities for the Allies to also bomb the railways that led to Auschwitz and other camps at certain points during the war and did not. . .
Auschwitz I was not established as an extermination camp. From June 14, 1940 to the beginning of 1942 it was a concentration camp whose inhabitants (Pols, Gypsies and Jews) were killed slowly due to starvation and purposefully barbaric conditions. It was not until the beginning of 1942 (until October 1944) that it began to function as the largest place for the mass murder of Jews in the gas chambers. . .
Of the 1.3 million people sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, 1.1 million were killed.
Of the 1.1 million, 960,000 were Jewish People