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 Arbeit Macht Frei (Auschwitz) 

   

"TITTER YE NOT"

*****************

 

The Führer visited a lunatic asylum. All the patients were told to stand in a row, and they were given instructions on how to salute him. When Hitler approached they all raised their right hands and shouted:

                               ‘Heil Hitler!’ Only the last man in the row uttered no sound and did not raise his hand. Red with rage Hitler stepped up to him and shouted:

                    ‘Don’t you know who I am? Why don’t you raise your hand?’ ‘I beg your pardon,’ replied the man politely, ‘I am the doctor.

I’m not a lunatic’.’

 *****************

 

Adolf Hitler is due to inspect a concentration

camp and the camp

commandant, eager to impress the Fuhrer, addresses the inmates.

 

"As today is the visit of the Fuhrer we will have

a special sportsday.

 

Therefore all the Americans shall play baseball in the west

field and all the English shall play cricket in the east field. In addition, all the French shall play soccer in the north field and all the Jews shall play hopscotch in the minefield."


 *****************

 

Nazi gas chambers:

                                “If you can’t stand the heat get out of the oven.”

 *****************

1/1
murdered sign
concentration camp ovens
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 Arbeit macht frei  is a German phrase meaning "work sets you

free." The slogan is known for appearing on the entrance of

Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

 

The expression comes from the title of a novel by German

philologist Lorenz Diefenbach, Arbeit macht frei:

                                                                           Erzählung von

Lorenz Diefenbach (1873), in which gamblers and fraudsters find

the path to virtue through labour. The phrase was also used in

French ("le travail rend libre!") by Auguste Forel, a Swiss

entomologist, neuroanatomist and psychiatrist, in his "Fourmis de la

Suisse" "Ants of Switzerland" (1920). In 1922, the Deutsche

Schulverein of Vienna, an ethnic nationalist "protective"

organization of Germans within the Austrian empire, printed

membership stamps with the phrase Arbeit macht frei.

 

The slogan "Arbeit macht frei" was placed at the entrances to a

number of Nazi concentration camps. The slogan's use in this instance was ordered by

 SS General Theodor Eicke , inspector of concentration camps and second commandant of

Dachau Concentration Camp. The slogan can still be seen at several sites, including over the entrance to  Auschwitz  where,

according to BBC historian Laurence Rees in his "Auschwitz:

                                                                                                a New History", the sign was erected by order of  commandant Rudolf Höss . This particular sign was made by prisoner-labourers including Jan Liwacz. The sign features an upside-down 'B', which has been interpreted as an act of defiance by the prisoners who made it.

 

In 1933 the first political prisoners were being rounded up for an indefinite period without charges. They were held in a number of places in Germany. The slogan was first used over the gate of a "wild camp" in the city of Oranienburg, which was set up in an abandoned brewery in March 1933 (it was later rebuilt in 1936 as Sachsenhausen). It can also be seen at the Dachau concentration camp, Gross-Rosen concentration camp, and The Resienstadt Ghetto-Camp, as well as at  Fort Breendonk  in Belgium. It has been claimed that the slogan was placed over entrance gates to Auschwitz III Buna Monowitz. The slogan appeared at the Flossenbürg

camp on the left gate post at the camp entry. The original gate posts survive in another part of the camp, but the slogan sign no longer exists. Primo Levi describes seeing the words illuminated over a doorway (as distinct from a gate) in Auschwitz III Buna Monowitz.

 

At Buchenwald, "Jedem das Seine" (literally, "to each his own", but idiomatically "everyone gets what he deserves") was used.

 

i have a camp for that
jewish boy hands up
dead jews

In 1938 the Austrian political cabaret writer Jura Soyfer and the composer Herbert Zipper, while prisoners at Dachau Concentration Camp, wrote the Dachaulied (The Dachau Song). They had spent weeks marching in and out of the camp's gate to daily forced labour, and considered the motto "Arbeit macht frei" over the gate an insult. The song repeats the phrase cynically as a "lesson" taught by Dachau. (The first verse is translated in the article on Jura Soyfer.)

 

In The Kingdom of Auschwitz, Otto Friedrich wrote about Rudolf Höss, regarding his decision to display the motto so prominently at the Auschwitz entrance:

                                      He seems not to have intended it as a mockery, nor even to have intended it literally, as a false promise that those who worked to exhaustion would eventually be released, but rather as a kind of mystical declaration that self-sacrifice in the form of endless labour does in itself bring a kind of spiritual freedom.

 

adolf hitler

                                                                               Considering the role played by the Auschwitz prisons during the Holocaust as well                                                                                 as the individual prisoner's knowledge that once they entered the camp freedom                                                                                     was not likely to be obtained by any means other than death, the cruel comedy of                                                                                  the slogan becomes strikingly clear. The psychological impact it wrought on those                                                                                  who passed through the gates of each of the camps where it was seen was                                                                                            incredibly powerful.

 

                                                                               Signs displaying the slogan at the interpretive centers which now occupy the                                                                                          former Nazi concentration camps have repeatedly been targeted by thieves.                                                                                          Motivation for the thefts was originally thought to be for financial gain, however                                                                                      when the individuals responsible for the theft were identified it was revealed that in                                                                                at least one instance the thieves themselves were affiliated with the  Neo Nazi 

                                                                               movement. What political goals that they hoped to achieve through stealing the                                                                                      signs is unclear.

 

Czech 2013 Theresienstadt Arbeit Macht Frei

                                                                                                                    The sign over Auschwitz was stolen in December 2009 and                                                                                                                     later recovered by authorities in three pieces.  Anders                                                                                                                               Högström , a Swedish neo-Nazi former leader, and two                                                                                                                           Poles were jailed as a result. The original sign is now in                                                                                                                           storage at the  Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum  and a                                                                                                                         replica was put over the gate. Five years later, the sign

                                                                                                                    over the Dachau gate was stolen by unknown thieves. The                                                                                                                       November 2014 theft of the Dachau sign remains unsolved                                                                                                                     and the artefact has never been recovered.

                                                                                                                    NaziGermany maintained concentration camps

                                                                                                                    (German :

                                                                                                                                   Konzentrationslager, throughout the territories it

                                                                                                                    controlled.

                                                                                                                    The first Nazi concentration camps were erected in

                                                                                                                    Germany in March 1933 immediately after Hitler became                                                                                                                         Chancellor and his Nazi Party was given control over the                                                                                                                         police through Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick and                                                                                                                           Prussian Acting Interior  Minister Hermann Göring

 

                                                                                                                    Used to hold and torture political opponents and union                                                                                             organizers the camps initially held around 45,000 prisoners.

 

                                                                                    Heinrich Himmler's SS  took full control of the police and concentration camps                                                                                       throughout Germany in 1934–35. Himmler expanded the role of the camps to                                                                                         holding so-called "racially undesirable elements" of German society, such as

                                                                                   Jews, criminals, homosexuals, and Romani. The number of people in camps,                                                                                         which had fallen to 7,500, grew again to 21,000 by the start of World War II and                                                                                     peaked at 715,000 in January 1945.

 

                                                                                   The concentration camps were administered since 1934 by Concentration                                                                                              Camps Inspectorate which in 1942 was merged into SS-Wirtschafts-                                                                                                      Verwaltungshauptamt and were guarded by  SS-Totenkopfverbände  (SS-TV).

 

                                                                                 

                                                                                   Holocaust scholars draw a distinction between concentration camps (described                                                                                     in this article) and extermination camps, which were established by the Nazis                                                                                         for the industrial-scale mass execution of the predominantly Jewish ghetto and                                                                                       concentration camp populations.

 

                                                                                   Use of the word "concentration" came from the idea of using documents                                                                                                 confining to one place a group of people who are in some way undesirable. The                                                                                     term itself originated in the "reconcentration camps" set up in Cuba by  General Valeriano Weyler  in 1897. Concentration camps had in the past been used by the U.S. against Native Americans and by the British in the Second Boer War. Between 1904 and 1908, the Schutztruppe of the Imperial German Army operated concentration camps in German South-West Africa (now Namibia) as part of their genocide of the  Herero and Namaqua peoples . The Shark Island Concentration Camp in Lüderitz was the biggest and the one with the harshest conditions.

 

When the Nazis came to power in Germany, they quickly moved to suppress all real or potential opposition. The general public was intimidated through arbitrary psychological terror of the special courts (Sondergerichte). Especially during the first years of their existence these courts "had a strong deterrent effect" against any form of political protest.

 

The first camp in Germany,  Dachau, was founded in March 1933 . The press announcement said that "the first concentration camp is to be opened in Dachau with an accommodation for 5,000 persons. All Communists and – where necessary – Reichsbanner and

Social Democratic functionaries who endanger state security are to be concentrated there, as in the long run it is not possible to keep individual functionaries in the state prisons without overburdening these prisons." Dachau was the first regular concentration camp established by the German coalition government of National Socialist Workers' Party (Nazi Party) and the Nationalist People's Party (dissolved on 6 July 1933). Heinrich Himmler, then Chief of Police of Munich, officially described the camp as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners."

Concentration Camp Oven

                                                                               Dachau served as a prototype and model for the other Nazi concentration camps.                                                                                 Almost every community in Germany had members taken there. The newspapers                                                                                   continuously reported of "the removal of the enemies of the Reich to concentration                                                                                camps" making the general population more aware of their presence. There were                                                                                   jingles warning as early as 1935:

                                                                                                                                  "Dear God, make me dumb, that I may not

                                                                               come to Dachau."

 

                                                                               Between 1933 and the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945, more than 3.5 million                                                                                              Germans were forced to spend time in concentration camps and prisons for                                                                                            political reasons, and approximately 77,000 Germans were executed for one or                                                                                      another form of resistance by Special Courts, courts-martial, and the civil justice                                                                                    system. Many of these Germans had served in government, the military, or in civil                                                                                  positions, which enabled them to engage in subversion and conspiracy against

                                                                               the Nazis.

 

As a result of the  Holocaust , the term "concentration camp" carries many of the connotations of "extermination camp" and is sometimes used synonymously. Because of these ominous connotations, the term "concentration camp", originally itself a euphemism, has been replaced by newer terms such as internment camp, resettlement camp,detention facility, etc., regardless of the actual circumstances of the camp, which can vary a great deal.

 

After September 1939, with the beginning of the Second World War, concentration camps became places where millions of ordinary people were enslaved as part of the war effort, often starved, tortured and killed. During the war, new Nazi concentration camps for "undesirables" spread throughout the continent. According to statistics by the German Ministry of Justice, about 1,200 camps and sub camps were run in countries occupied by Nazi Germany, while the Jewish Virtual Library estimates that the number of Nazi camps was closer to 15,000 in all of occupied Europe and that many of these camps were created for a limited time before being demolished. Camps were being created near the centers of dense populations, often focusing on areas with large communities of Jews, Polish intelligentsiaCommunists or Romani. Since millions of Jews lived in pre-war Poland, most camps were located in the area of General Government in occupied Poland, for logistical reasons. The location also allowed the Nazis to quickly remove the German Jews from within Germany proper. In 1942, the SS built a network of extermination camps to systematically kill millions of prisoners by gassing. The extermination camps (Vernichtungslager) and death camps (Todeslager) were camps whose primary function was  genocide . The Nazis themselves distinguished between concentration camps and the extermination camps. The British intelligence service had information about the concentration camps, and in 1942 Jan Karski delivered a thorough eyewitness account to the government.

 

The two largest groups containing prisoners in the camps, both numbering in the millions, were the Polish Jews and the Soviet

prisoners of war (POWs) held without trial or judicial process. There were also large numbers of Romani people, ethnic Poles,

Serbs, political prisoners, homosexuals, people with disabilities, Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholic clergy, Eastern European

intellectuals and others (including common criminals, as declared by the Nazis). In addition, a small number of Western Allied

aviators were sent to concentration camps as spies. Western Allied POWs who were Jews, or whom the Nazis believed to be

Jewish, were usually sent to ordinary POW camps; however, a small number were sent to concentration camps under antisemetic

policies.

 

Sometimes the concentration camps were used to hold important prisoners, such as the generals involved in the attempted assassination of HitlerU-boat Captain-turned-Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller; and  Admiral Wilhelm Canaris , who was interned

at Flossenbürg on February 7, 1945, until he was hanged on April 9, shortly before the war’s end.

 

In most camps, prisoners were forced to wear identifying overalls with colored badges according to their categorization:

                                                                                                                                                                                             red triangles for Communists and other political prisoners, green triangles for common criminals, pink for homosexual men, purple for Jehovah's Witnesses, black for a socials and the "work shy", yellow for Jews, and later brown for Romani.

 

Many of the prisoners died in the concentration camps through deliberate

maltreatment, disease, starvation, and overwork, or were executed as unfit for

labor. Prisoners were transported in inhumane conditions by rail freight cars, in

which many died before reaching their destination. The prisoners were confined

to the boxcars for days or even weeks, with little or no food or water. Many died

of dehydration in the intense heat of summer or froze to death in winter.

Concentration camps also existed in Germany itself, and while they were not

specifically designed for systematic extermination, many of their inmates perished

because of harsh conditions or were executed.

 

In the spring of 1941, the SS – along with doctors and officials of the T-4

Euthanasia Program – introduced the Action 14f13 programme meant for

extermination of selected concentration camp prisoners. The Inspectorate of the

Concentration Camps categorized all files dealing with the death of prisoners as

14f, and those of prisoners sent to the  T-4 gas chambers  as 14f13. Under the

language regulations of the SS, selected prisoners were designated for "special

treatment (German:

                               Sonderbehandlung) 14f13". Prisoners were officially selected

based on their medical condition; namely, those permanently unfit for labor due to

illness. Unofficially, acialand eugenic criteria were used:

                                                                                        Jews, the handicapped,

and those with criminal or antisocial records were selected. For Jewish prisoners

there was not even the pretense of a medical examination:

                                                                                            the arrest record was

listed as a physician’s “diagnosis” In early 1943, as the need for labour increased

and the gas chambers at  Auschwitz became operational, Heinrich Himmler

ordered the end of  Action 14f13 .

 

After 1942, many small subcamps were set up near factories to provide forced

labor. IG Farben established a synthetic rubber plant in 1942 at Monowitz

concentration camp ( AuschwitzIII ); other camps were set up next to airplane

factories, coalmines and rocket propellant plants. Conditions were brutal and

prisoners were often sent to the gas chambers or killed if they did not work

quickly enough.

 

On 31 July 1941 Hermann Göring gave written authorization to SS

Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, Chief of the Reich Main Security Office

(RSHA), to prepare and submit a plan for a "total solution of the Jewish question"

in territories under German control and to coordinate the participation of all

involved government organisations. The resulting  General plan Ost  (General

Plan for the East) called for deporting the population of occupied Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to Siberia, for use as slave labour or to be murdered.

 

Towards the end of the war, the camps became sites for medical experiments.  Eugenics experiments , freezing prisoners to determine how downed pilots were affected by exposure, and experimental and lethal medicines were all tried at various camps.

 

arbeit macht frei
concentration camp uniform
concentration camp men
starving jewish children

                                                                        The lead editors of the Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 of

                                                                         the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum , Geoffrey Megargee and Martin                                                                                    Dean, cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning                                                                            German-controlled areas from France to Russia and   Germany itself, operating from.                                                                            They estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites.

 

                                                                        Some of the most notorious slave labour camps included a network of sub-camps.

                                                                         Gross-Rosen had 100 subcamps , Auschwitz had 44 sub-camps, Stutthof had 40 sub-                                                                         camps set up contingently. Prisoners in these sub-camps were dying from starvation,                                                                            untreated disease and summary executions by the tens of thousands.

 

                                                                        The camps were liberated by the Allied and Soviet forces between 1944 and 1945.                                                                                The first major camp, Majdanek,was discovered by the advancing Soviets on July 23,                                                                            1944.

                                                                        Auschwitz was liberated, also by the Soviets, on January 27, 1945Buchenwald by                                                                            the Americans on April 11;  Bergen-Belsen  by the British on April 15Dachau by the                                                                              Americans on April 29Ravensbrück by the Soviets on the same dayMauthausen by                                                                         Americans on May 5; and Theresienstadt by the Soviets on May 8.

 

Treblinka, Sobibór, and Bełżec were never liberated, but were destroyed by the

Nazis in 1943. Colonel William W. Quinn of the U.S. 7th Army said of

Dachau:

            "There our troops found sights, sounds, and stenches horrible beyond

belief, cruelties so enormous as to be incomprehensible to the normal mind."

 

In most of the camps discovered by the Soviets, almost all the prisoners had

already been removed, leaving only a few thousand alive— 7,000 inmates were

found in Auschwitz, including 180 children who had been experimented on by

doctors. Some 60,000 prisoners were discovered at Bergen-Belsen by the British

11th Armoured Division, 13,000 corpses lay unburied, and another 10,000 died

from typhus or malnutrition over the following weeks. The British forced the

remaining SS guards to gather up the corpses and place them in mass graves.

 

camp children behind barbed wire

                                                                       Wild camps, or early camps, usually

                                                                       without proper infrastructure, springing up in each and every town across the German                                                                           state beginning in 1933 like mushrooms after the rain (Himmler's quote), overseen by                                                                           Nazi paramilitaries as political police utilising any lockable larger space, i.e. engine

                                                                       rooms, brewery floors, storage facilities, cellars, etc.

                                                                   

                                                                       State camps (i.e. Dachau, Oranienburg, Esterwegen) guarded by the SA; prototypes                                                                              for future SS concentration camps, with the total of 107,000 prisoners already in 1935.

                                                                       Hostage camps (Geisellager), known also as police prison camps (i.e. Sint-                                                                                            Michielsgestel, Haaren) where hostages were held and later killed in reprisal actions.

                                                                         

                                                                       Labor camps (Arbeitslager): concentration camps where interned captives had to                                                                                  perform hard physical labor under inhumane conditions and cruel treatment. Some of                                                                            these were sub-camps (Aussenlager) a.k.a. the Outer Camps, built around a larger       central camp (Stammlager) or served as "operational camps" established for a temporary need. POW camps (Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager / Stalag) a.k.a. Main Camps for Enlisted Prisoners of War:

                                                                                                                                     concentration camps where enlisted prisoners-of-war were held after capture. They were usually assigned soon to nearby labor camps (Arbeitskommandos i.e. the Work Details.

POW officers had their own camps (Offizierslager / Oflag). Stalags were for Army prisoners, but specialized camps (Marinelager /

Marlag ("Navy camps") and Marine interniertenlager / Milag ("Merchant Marine Internment Camps") existed for the other services.

Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager Luftwaffe / Stalag Luft ("Air Forces Camps") were the only camps that detained both officers and non-commissioned personnel together.

Camps for the so-called "rehabilitation and re-education of Poles" (Arbeiterziehungslager - "Work Instruction Camps"):

                                                                                                                                                                                          camps where the intelligentsia of the ethnic Poles were held, and "re-educated" according to Nazi values as slaves.

Collection and Transit camps:

                                              camps where inmates were collected (Sammellager) or temporarily held (Durchgangslager / Dulag)

and then routed to main camps.

Extermination camps (Vernichtungslager):

                                                                  These camps differed from the rest, since not all of them were also concentration camps. Although none of the categories are independent, many camps could be classified as a mixture of several of the above.

All camps had some of the elements of an extermination camp, but systematic extermination of new-arrivals occurred in very

specific camps. Of these, four were extermination camps, where all new arrivals were simply killed the " Aktion Reinhard " camps (Treblinka, Sobibór and Belzec), together with Chelmno. Two others (Auschwitz and Majdanek) were combined concentration and extermination camps. Others like Maly Trostenets were at times classified as "minor extermination camps".

Though most Nazi concentration and extermination camps were

destroyed after the war, some were made into permanent memorials. In

Communist Poland, some camps such as Majdanek, Jaworzno, Potulice

and Zgoda were used by the  Soviet NKVD  to hold German prisoners of

war, suspected or confirmed Nazis and Nazi collaborators, anti-

Communists and other political prisoners, as well as civilian

members of the German, Silesian and Ukrainian ethnic minorities.

Currently, there are memorials to both Nazi and Communist camps at

Potulice; they have helped to enable a German-Polish discussion on

historical perceptions of World War II. In East Germany, the

concentration camps at Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen were used for

similar purposes. Dachau concentration camp was used as a detention

centre for the arrested Nazis.

 

 SS Totenkopfverbände  (SSTV), rendered in English as Death's Head

Units, was the SS organization responsible for administering the Nazi

concentration camps for the Third Reich, among similar duties. While the

Totenkopf (skull) was the universal cap badge of the SS, the SS-TV also

wore the Death's Head insignia on the right collar to distinguish itself from

other Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) formations.

 

 Arbeit Macht Frei THE LIBERTINES 

The SS-TV created originally in 1933 was an independent unit within the SS with its own ranks and command structure. It ran the camps throughout Germany and later, the Nazi-occupied Europe. Camps in Germany included Dachau, Bergen Belsen and Buchenwald; camps elsewhere in Europe included Auschwitz in German occupied Poland and Mauthausen in Austria among the numerous other concentration camps and death camps. The extermination camps' primary function was genocide and included

Treblinka, Bełżec and Sobibór built for Aktion Reinhard. They were responsible for facilitating what the Nazis called the

 Final Solution , known since the war as the Holocaust. It was perpetrated by the SS in collaboration with the Reich Main Security Office, and the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office or WVHA.

 

At the outbreak of World War II one of the first combat units of the Waffen-SS, the SS Division Totenkopf, was formed from SS-TV personnel. It soon developed a reputation for ferocity and fanaticism, participating in war crimes such as the  Le Paradis massacre 

in 1940 during the Fall of France. On the Eastern Front the mass shootings of Polish and Soviet civilians in Operation Barbarossa

the work of special task forces known as SS-Einsatzgruppen, which were organized by Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich.

concentration camp guards
ss deaths head
waffen ss

 

                                                                                   The SS-TV created originally in 1933 was an independent unit within the SS                                                                                           with its own ranks and command structure. It ran the camps throughout                                                                                                   Germany and later, he Nazi occupied Europe. Camps in Germany included

                                                                                   Dachau, Bergen Belsen and Buchenwald; camps elsewhere in Europe                                                                                                   included Auschwitz in German occupied Poland and Mauthausen in Austria                                                                                           among the numerous other concentration camps and death camps. The                                                                                                 extermination camps' primary function was genocide and included

                                                                                   Treblinka, Bełżec and Sobibór built for Aktion Reinhard. They were responsible                                                                                       for facilitating what the Nazis called the  Final Solution , known since the war as                                                                                     the Holocaust. It was perpetrated by the SS in collaboration with the Reich Main                                                                                     Security Office, and the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office or WVHA.

himmler cocentration camp

                                                                                   Another main branch of the SS known as the SS Verfügungstruppen (SS-VT)                                                                                         was soon reorganized and expanded by Himmler into the Waffen-SS (or the                                                                                          Armed-SS) with some 150,000 members. Almost half of the concentration

                                                                                   camp officers served with the Waffen SS combat divisions, including the

                                                                                   Leibstandarte, Das Reich, the Nord Division, and Totenkopf which was

                                                                                   directly linked to the camp system. Some concentration camp officers served

                                                                                   as division commanders in the Waffen-SS. In 1941, prior to the "Final Solution",

                                                                                   the SS concentration camp personnel began to arrive from the front-line SS                                                                                           formations upon medical discharge. Attack dogs were introduced to                                                                                                        compensate for the personnel shortage. Meanwhile, by October 1944 the

                                                                                    Waffen-SS membership  reached 800, Within the camps themselves, there existed a hierarchy of camp titles and positions which were unique only to the camp service. Each camp was commanded by a Kommandant, sometimes referred to as Lagerkommandant, who was assisted by a camp adjutant and command staff. The prison barracks within the camp were supervised by a Rapportführer who was responsible for daily roll call and the camp daily schedule. The individual prisoner barracks were overseen by junior SS-NCOs called Blockführer who, in turn had one to two squads of SS soldiers responsible for overseeing the prisoners. Within the extermination camps, the Blockführer was in charge of the prisoner Sonderkommando and was also the person who would physically gas victims in the camp's gas chambers. The Jewish

 Sonderkommao 

 

Concentration camps also had supply and medical personnel, attached to the headquarters office under the camp commander, as well as a security office with  Gestapo  and Sicherheitsdienst (SD) personnel attached temporarily to the camp. These security personnel, while answering to the camp commander, were also under direct command of Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo) and RSHA

commanders independent of the camps. As a result, SD and Gestapo personnel within the

concentration camps were seen as "outsiders" by the full-time camp personnel and frequently

looked down upon with distrust by the regular SS-TV members.

 

In addition to the regular SS personnel assigned to the Concentration Camp, there also existed a

prisoner system of trustees known as  Kapos  who performed a wide variety of duties from

administration to overseeing other groups of prisoners. 

In 1942  Richard Glücks  was increasingly involved in the administration of the Endlösung, supplying

personnel to assist in Aktion Reinhardt (although the death camps of Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor

were administered by SS-und Polizei-führer Odilo Globocnik of the General Government). In July

1942, Glücks met Himmler to discuss medical experiments on concentration camp inmates. All

extermination orders were issued from Glücks' office to SS-TV commands throughout Nazi

Germany and occupied Europe. He specifically authorized the purchase of  Zyklon B  for use at

Auschwitz.

 

In 1945 SS-TV units began to receive orders to conceal as much of the evidence of  The Holocaust

as possible. Camps were destroyed, sick prisoners were shot and others were marched on death

marches away from the advancing Allies. The SS-TV were also instrumental in the execution of

hundreds of political prisoners to prevent their liberation.

 

By April 1945 many SS-TV had left their posts. Due to their notoriety, some removed their death

head insignia to hide their identities. Camp duties were increasingly turned over to so-called

"Auxiliary-SS", soldiers and civilians conscripted as camp guards so that the Totenkopf men could

escape. However, many were arrested by the Allies and stood trial for war crimes at Nuremberg

between 1946 and 1949.

SS-Mann, deine Ehre heißt Treue!

"Man of the SS, your honour is loyalty"

ss sodiers parade
adolf hitler salute mobile
Auschwitz rail tracks
the auschwitz escape rosenberg
jude star
jews heads
Mein Kamp
ss zyklon b
never again
piled up bodies

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