by Suhas Rachaveti
During World War II, the Nazi regime implemented the Final Solution in an attempt to remove Jews from German society. The Jews were transported into ghettos, which were neighborhoods created for Jewish isolation from society. Starting in 1940, the Jews were transported from the overfilled ghettoes into concentration and death camps.
Auschwitz was a Nazi camp that functioned simultaneously as a concentration and death camp. The main groups of people sent here were the Roma (gypsies), Jews, and Poles.
This is a picture of the entrance to the camp. The sign reads “Work Liberates”.
As soon as the prisoners arrived at these gates they were separated based on a process called “Selektion”. The young and strong women and men were sent to work, while the mothers with young children, old and sick were sent to the gas chambers.
Among the prisoners that were deemed physically fit to work, there was a strict hierarchical order. The topmost positions were called functionaries, which usually consisted of Jews and Poles who were given better food and shelter. There was also a strict racial order in this camp in which German prisoners were at the top, then came non-Jewish European ethnic groups such as the Slaves, and then the Jewish and Roma people.
This was the living quarters that the camp prisoners used to sleep in.