Auschwitz Birkenau: “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes One Free)
Barbed wires, fortified walls, cremation ovens, gas chambers, barracks, and broken dreams were all components of Auschwitz Birkenau. Auschwitz Birkenau is located in Poland, and is considered a historical site because of it falls under criteria 6, which means that this landscape has a historical background of inhumane cruelty towards fellow humans (UNESCO). Auschwitz Birkenau was built during World War II (1940-1945), by the orders of Adolf Hitler, the powerful leader of Germany during the Third Reich. His main goal was to exterminate the Jewish population by sending his famous Nazi SS army to gather every Jewish person and the send them by train towards the concentration camps. Auschwitz Birkenau was the most famous concentration camps in which approximately 1.5 million Jewish people were severely starved, tortured, forced into strong labor, and murdered. This concentration camp was the largest compared to the rest of the extermination camps. The Holocaust his viewed as the symbol of human cruelty, world’s largest genocide, and racial discrimination. Having Auschwitz as a place where most of the genocide took place.
The Nazi Germans had no mercy towards not only the Jewish population, but towards homosexuals, Gypsies, Polish, and Soviet soldiersMen, women, and children were all victims of the cruelty that took place in this horrific place. As soon as all the prisoners enter Auschwitz, the Nazi SS will separate the women and children from the males. Usually, the children and women were sent straight towards the gas chambers to be murdered. The women and children had to walk towards their deaths without them knowing. The gas chambers looked like shower rooms in which the women and children were told that they would shower but instead, they were gassed to their deaths. The males would be starved to death and forced to work in harsh conditions for long periods of time without a break. When the SS men noticed that a man was not in a “good physical shape” to work or diagnosed with a disease, they were shot in place or sent to the gas chambers to be gassed. The prisoners were also forced to sleep in barracks with no blankets, so they had no choice but to sleep in the cold winter nights. Not only did they not have blankets, but they also had to sleep with a lot of people in the same small bed. Every morning around 4 a.m., the prisoners were awaken by the SS men and token outside in the cold weather for roll call. This usually took around 3 hours long and throughout this time all the prisoners had to be standing up and fully awake.
Auschwitz Birkenau was one of the most horrific concentration camps used to exterminate the whole Jewish population during the Holocaust. In 1945, the American Army freed the remaining prisoners from Auschwitz, and what they saw was the most disturbing, yet heartbreaking image they had ever seen in their lives. Today, many generations of the Jewish community come to Auschwitz to pray for their dead. Auschwitz became a historical site because to every Jewish family, this is a day to remember the Jewish genocide and by the use of these remains of Auschwitz or any concentration camp, the whole world would understand to what extent one individual can do because of racial discrimination. The Holocaust was the most horrible mass murder that ever happened in history, and though the use of museums and the historical sites such as Auschwitz, the world can prevent another genocide from occurring. I have never been so disturbed and heartbroken. Leaning about what happened during this time period the only thing I thought was that, how can a single person cause so much damage towards a whole race? The children killed in these concentration camps could have been doctors who found a cure for cancer, lawyers, or inventors. The Holocaust will never be forgotten, it is a symbol of human cruelty, and a message to the world, to prevent another horrible event from happening.