5 Horrifying Facts About Auschwitz Concentration Camp – Top5s
Crime & HistoryTrending

5 Horrifying Facts About Auschwitz Concentration Camp

25 Mar 2018

Probably the most infamous of all the Nazi concentration camps, the name Auschwitz conjures up horrific images of the evil that was perpetrated there. Originally intended to house Polish prisoners of war, the camp in Southern Poland first housed Poland’s political prisoners. It wasn’t until after the invasion of the USSR and the enlargement of the camp to become Auschwitz-Birkenau that its function changed from a concentration camp to a death camp.

5Inmates

Widely believed to have held just Jews from occupied territories, many of the inmates of the camp were not of Jewish descent. Any person regarded by Nazi Germany as an enemy of the state could be housed there as well as other ethnic minorities considered as Untermensch – sub-human……Gipsies, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah’s Witnesses and gays were all incarcerated in Auschwitz as well as Jews. Even British POWs were held in some of the numerous satellite camps.

The black and white striped prison uniforms were adorned with colour-coded triangular badges that denoted the status of the prisoner – red for political prisoners, green for criminals, purple for Jehovah’s Witnesses, pink for gays and black for Roma Gypsies. The Jews would wear the yellow star of David.

The atrocious living conditions that the prisoners were kept in led to many deaths outside of the gas chambers. Inmates were often beaten to death by guards; poor sanitation meant that disease was rife with many thousands succumbing to typhoid or dysentery.

Some inmates were given the role of a Kapo or a prison functionary. They were given what could be regarded as privileges in return for the overseeing of prisoners. The Nazis used this as a way to turn the prisoners against each other, and so retain command.

4Selection Process

When Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of Nazi security, was given instructions to enact the ‘final solution of the Jewish problem’, the order called for the population of Eastern Europe to be used as slave labour or to be eliminated.

The camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau was designated as a camp where such individuals would be held. As the trains carrying the prisoners rolled into the camp, SS officers and staff were waiting to commence a selection process whereby those who appeared fit for work would be brought to a different area where they would be taken into the camp or to one of the many camps that made up the site complex. From there, they would be used as forced labour for the German war machine that was in desperate need of cheap manpower.

Those who were deemed by the SS doctors to be unfit for work… children, mothers with young children, the sick and the elderly, were not permitted to enter the camp. Instead, they were taken to another area.

Here they were told that they were to be sanitised before entering the camp. After removing their clothing, they were led into a large, windowless block……The gas chamber.

3Medical Experiments

SS doctors performed numerous medical experiments on the prisoners at Auschwitz.

Doctors Claus Clauberg and Horst Schumann both used inmates as guinea pigs in their studies of human sterilisation. The victims, male and female, were put through horrific operations often without the use of anaesthesia. The survivors were left with physical and psychological damage.

Although the most likely outcome for those who underwent the operations was death from any number of causes such as shock, infection and multiple organ failures. Even after death, some corpses were used in autopsies in the name of medical research.

The most infamous Nazi doctor was Josef Mengele. While Clauberg and Schumann focused on the biological destruction of ‘sub-humans’, Mengele’s interest lay in anthropological studies and especially that of twins.

Subjects were quickly identified after arrival at the camp. Twins almost exclusively children, were handed over to the care of Mengele. After lengthy examinations, he would commence a series of terrible experiments upon them. Often one twin would be kept well as a ‘control’ while the other would be subjected to inhuman tests – the deliberate amputation of limbs or exposure to diseases.
After the tests were completed, the children were then killed or taken to the gas chamber.

2Revolt

It is difficult to understand now how so many people could endure the hardships of living in the camp, knowing that death may be only a whisper away, without taking any action.

It would be wrong to assume this…

Sonderkommandos were prisoners who were formed into work units who would be forced, under threat of death, to assist with the removal of the victims of the gas chambers. Their living conditions were slightly better than the rest of the prisoners. They had access to food, medicines and cigarettes and the sleeping quarters were also less squalid. They would avoid the arbitrary killings meted out the others.

Yet every Sonderkommando knew that this was only a temporary stay of execution. The Nazis would never be able to allow them to take their knowledge of happenings outside of the camp and therefore every three months or so, they would be sent, en masse, to the gas chambers, and a new consignment would replace them.

In October 1944, knowing that they would soon be killed, a group of Sonderkommandos attacked their SS guards with hand-made weapons. After a struggle in which three of the guards were killed, the revolt was put down, and 451 Sonderkommandos perished.

1Escape

Allied prisoners of war took it as their duty to escape from the camps wherever they were incarcerated. When you have no-where to escape to, the urge to flee diminishes and a resignation to the fate that awaits sets in.

Not everyone in Auschwitz thought this way. Over 900 inmates attempted to escape and although the majority were captured a remarkable number did actually succeed.

The first successful escape was in July 1940 when a Pole, Tadeusz Wiejowski disguised himself as a civilian worker.

In June 1942, four Poles broke into a warehouse and stole SS uniforms. They then armed themselves and after stealing a staff car, simply drove through the gates of the camp unchallenged.

Jerzy Bielecki made a similar escape in July 1944. He wore the uniform of an SS guard and using false documents, managed to pass through the camp’s sentries accompanied by his girlfriend, Cyla Cybulska. They managed to link up with Polish partisans and Cybulska survived the war. In total 196 inmates successfully escaped from Auschwitz, the majority surviving the war.

Sadly, for most the only escape from their nightmare was through the chimney of the crematorium.

Submitted By Paul Galliford

Checkout Top5s Exploring Auschwitz-Birkenau As It Is Today  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQWmQUdglQs








The Genius That Was Stephen Hawking

On March 14th, 1879 one of the greatest theoretical physicist of all time was born,...

5 Real Life Killer Clowns That Are Even Scarier Than Pennywise…

With the release of 2017’s ‘IT’ one of horror movies most terrifying characters has been...

The Worlds Most Dangerous Game? | The Elevator Ritual: Step by Step Guide, Rules & Tips

The Elevator Ritual Game is thought to have originated from a Korean Website, although this...

5 Incredible Superpowers You Probably Didn’t Know Your Pet Has

Ask anyone who owns a pet, and they’ll give you a reason why their pet...

5 Most Poisonous Frogs on the Planet!

Some of the most stunning plants and animals on the planet are often the most...

5 Time Travel Conspiracies

Time travel has always been a fascinating topic and has led to the birth of...

5 Remarkable Cases Where Bodies Have Been Frozen In Time

When someone dies, the body will immediately start to decompose starting with the internal organs…....

Incredibly Creepy Experiences At Wissahickon House, Germantown, Philadelphia

Dear Top5s I want to start off by saying I’m an avid fan of your...

The Mysterious Case Of Kayelyn Louder | 5 Things That Don’t Add Up

Compassionate, kind and considerate; these are just some of the words used by family and...

5 UFO Incidents The World Forgot

Take a look at the list below, remarkably each of these events actually happened. They...

5 Horrifying Facts About Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Probably the most infamous of all the Nazi concentration camps, the name Auschwitz conjures up...

5 Theories On What Lies Beyond The Observable Universe

Have you ever thought about how big the universe is? Thanks to our continuously updated...

5 Creepy Places With Horrific Back Stories

We all are aware of that one house in the neighbourhood…. The one that is...

5 Amazing Facts About Albert Einstein & His Life

Albert Einstein is widely credited as one of the smartest and most influential men of...

Strange Happenings In Haunted House In England

I used to live on a little island at the bottom of England, near the...

New Mexico Witch

I am not absolutely sure of the date as it was some time ago and...

Will I live…or die? A True Paranormal Encounter

Alright, so this encounter I’m about to tell everyone about is one of my scary...

5 Famous People Who Went Missing, Then Turned Up Safe…

Every day hundreds of people disappear, either by choice or otherwise. Only a very small...

5 Ways To Spot A Psychic Scam Online…

Finding a decent astrologer can be tough. You can ask friends and family for recommendations,...

5 Animal Heroes Of The First And Second World War

When we remember the two World Wars, we probably give little thought to the animals...

Please Help Me Explain This Creepy Photo!

I’m going to stay persistant with this picture because I need an explanation. I took...

5 Notorious Medieval and Renaissance Witches

As we grew up, adults told us stories about the good and evil creatures that...

I Saw The Same Ghost That Photobombed Family Snap At Roundhay Park

It must have been back in 2010, my four friends and me were in our...

Recurring Old Hag Dream and Sleep Paralysis?

My story may seem very farfetched to anyone who doesn’t believe in supernatural events, but...

Ghost Hunting Essentials | 5 Pieces of Equipment For Every Aspiring Ghost Hunter

For centuries, we as the human race have held an electric fascination with spirits, the...

My Young Daughter Was Taken Over By A Frightening Stickman

I don’t want to leave my name, but this is the story of my families...

5 Most Haunted Places & Unexplained Events in Webster Groves, Missouri…

Webster Groves is a quiet suburb of St. Louis, in the heart of the United...

Creepy Nights At The Museum Of Welsh Life in Cardiff

My original plan in life towards the end of my teens was to go to...

5 Rogue Animals Who Turned Serial Killer

There are numerous cases of humans attacked by animals, but fewer are those where the...

5 Tragic Incidents That Took Place on Friday the 13th….Coincidence or Curse?

Friday the 13th is a day that many people believe to be unlucky or even...

5 Clever Hoaxes That Fooled The World

Most people like to think that they would be able to spot when something wasn’t...

5 Terrifying Trick Or Treats Gone Wrong

Anchored in mischief and mayhem, All Hallows Eve, is a time for ghoulish costumes, scary...

5 Possible Explanations For The Amityville House Hauntings

5 Amityville House: Haunted or Not?When you look at the house on 108 Ocean Avenue...

5 Mythical Creatures & Cryptids That Could Actually Be Real

Throughout time we have always told tales of fantastic creatures lurking in the distant corners...

5 Famous Actors You Never Knew Were World War II Heroes!

World War II affected the lives of so many, as young men all over the...

Knock Knock, Who’s There? – A Story Shared by Top5s Top Woman

I’ve never really gone looking for anything supernatural and was a very innocent child growing...

5 Interesting Facts About Diana, Princess Of Wales

Born Diana Spencer in July 1961, she went on to become one of the most...

The UFO Death Conspiracy | 5 Mysterious Deaths Linked to Unidentified Flying Objects

In 1971 internationally renowned comic book writer and keen amateur UFO Researcher Otto Binder published...

5 Facts About The Terrifying Case of The Southend Werewolf

For the fanatics of the era that was populated by teen vampire characters and assorted...

5 Terrifying Haunted Hospitals And Insane Asylums

Hospitals are a frightening place to visit just by their nature, the sterile corridors and...

The 5 Facts Behind The Real “Conjuring” Movie Family | The Perron Family

When you hear the name Perron, most people don't give it a second thought. But...

5 Interesting Facts About The Life of The Worlds Most Notorious Pirate | Captain Blackbeard

Have you ever wondered how a pirate would want to be remembered? What went through...

Cursed Mask In Attic

When I was little I used to love exploring my house especially my attic we...

Do you see anything in the picture?

When I was four, my father sadly passed away. Now I am a 14-year-old boy,...