Auschwitz II - Birkenau

Robert S. Leventhal
Networked Fellow, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
University of Virginia

Copyright (c) 1995 by Robert S. Leventhal. ,This text may be shared in accordance with fair-use provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law. Redistribution and republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the permission of the author.

By 1942, there were 28 buildings in the original camp at Auschwitz -- Auschwitz I. More space was needed, and the S.S. realized that Auschwitz I could not be expanded to accomodate the mass influx of Jews and other prisoners from all over Europe. At this time, in 1942, plans were made for the construction of another site that could accomodate up to 200,000 people at nearby Brzezinka, or Birkenau, just two miles away. This became the Auschwitz II-Birkenau Sub-camp, the primary site of technological, industrial mass-murder. At Birkenau, there were first two gas chambers, and then, after the technology was perfected and the buildings constructed to house them, four massive crematoriums.

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This document was last modified June 8, 1995