I. Bartosik, Ł. Martyniak, P. Setkiewicz - The Expansion of KL Auschwitz 1942-1945 in the Light of the Source Materials
This publication, based on more than 110 previously unpublished or little known documents, depicts the pace at which the Auschwitz complex was enlarged. In 1942, the main camp was one enormous building site, and some 30 various projects were underway around it. In Birkenau, brick and wooden barracks (intended to house 200 thousand prisoners) were being hastily erected, and the system of water mains, sewers, and the sewage treatment plant was being expanded.
In Berlin, the decision had been made to choose Auschwitz for the role of the main site for the extermination of Jews, which entailed the construction of huge gas chambers and crematoria.
Simultaneously, the overcrowding of the blocks and barracks was exacerbating the hygienic-sanitation situation, which led to the outbreak of an epidemic in the camp and influenced the slowing down of some of the gigantic projects. At the same time (1942-1944), the thousands of European Jews being deported to Auschwitz were perishing in an infrastructure of annihilation that was being constantly enhanced. Numerous German companies engaged in the expansion of the whole complex were present in the vicinity of the camp, and several of them had relocated their production to Auschwitz.
Only the approach of the Eastern Front in the fall of 1944 slowed the majority of the work, and had an influence on the gradual shifting of SS projects from Auschwitz to camps in the depths of Germany. The authors—Piotr Setkiewicz, Igor Bartosik, and Łukasz Martyniak—are historians at the Research Center of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim.
This publication is available in Polish-English version.
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