How Did Auschwitz Operate?

In Auschwitz Camp I (prisoners in Block 11), doctors performed horrible- unspeakable surgeries and experiments on prisoners, including children. Experiments with no anesthesia were casually carried out including the removal of organs and limbs, sex change operations and castration.  Others were put to sleep with a chloroform injection and then dissected.  Victims were also subjected to freezing and burn experiments, pressure chamber experiments, and being tested with drug and germ injections that left them in severe pain, permanent disability or dead. Hitler was attempting, in his eyes, to create a biological-superior master race through human experiment.

Auschwitz Birkenau II established in 1940, housed gas chambers and is the largest ‘killing centre’ created in history. It was here, that the mass-murder of over two million people (mainly Jews) was murdered. Much of the killing was by way of gas chamber because it could exterminate up to 10,000 people per day. The original method of using Carbon monoxide was changed to the more efficient Zyklon-B, which delivered an almost instant death. Prisoners were stripped believing they were being sent for showering when German soldiers fired Zyklon-B pellets into the chamber that turned to poisonous gas with contact to air.

The current day connection that comes to mind when I read and look at pictures of the Auschwitz atrocity and my question ‘How did Auschwitz operate?’ is the surprising fact that the practice of tattoo existed 70 years ago.

Arriving prisoners (not prisoners sent to gas chamber) were given a camp serial number that was tattooed on their outer or inner side of the left forearm. The tattoo was given for identification purposes.

Sadly, Auschwitz tattoos were not by choice by those arriving to the camp. For survivors, I think he tattoo would be a constant physical reminder of their tragedy. However, it would also be a reminder of how extremely lucky they are to be one of the few who made it through this hell.

Unlike the Auschwitz tattoos, modern day tattoos are a fad and are by choice. People choose tattoos that they identify with such as pictures or sayings that have a special meaning to them. It is also a constant reminder and connection to one’s life reflection.  

Works Cited

"The History Place." The History Place. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.

Rosenberg, Jennifer, "20th Century History: Events and people of the 1900s." N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.

"Index of /jsource/Holocaust." Index of /jsource/Holocaust. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.

"Auschwitz, The Holocaust Photos." Auschwitz, The Holocaust Photos. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.

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