Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'
It is the site of the largest mass murder in the history of the world, yet few know the surprising history of this most infamous place, nor how it fitted into the Nazis' overall plan for the mass extermination of the Jews - what they called the "final solution."
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Liberation and Revenge 6 of 6
March 16, 2009
The liberation of Auschwitz and other camps by the Soviet Red Army. However, freedom did not mean an end to the prisoners' suffering. A number of SS officers employed at the camp were able to get away, with Eichmann evading capture for 15 years, and Mengele escaping justice altogether.
Murder and Intrigue 5 of 6
March 9, 2009
In 1944, the death toll rose substantially. By this point, the Allies were aware of Auschwitz's purpose, and faced a difficult decision over what should be done about it. Plus, the story of the occupation of Hungary, revealing how Adolf Eichmann offered to spare a million Jews in return for certain services.
Corruption 4 of 6
March 2, 2009
Corruption became rife among the SS, with the money stolen from Jews finding its way into the pockets of the camp guards rather than funding the war effort. Many of the SS also enjoyed illicit sexual relationships with female prisoners. Meanwhile, Josef Mengele embarked on a gruesome series of experiments, using children as guinea pigs in his research into genetic inheritance.
Factories of Death 3 of 6
February 23, 2009
Survivors describe the biggest single killing year in the history of the final solution. Jews from places as far away as the Channel Islands eventually died at Auschwitz.
Orders and Initiatives 2 of 6
February 16, 2009
Camp commander Rudolf Höss, who later claimed he was only following orders, was instrumental in the development of Auschwitz for mass murder, arranging for Soviet prisoners to be brought in as construction workers and scouring Europe for more victims to kill.
Surprising Beginnings 1 of 6
February 9, 2009
The concentration camp at Auschwitz had its origins as a place to hold political prisoners. Polish inmates held at Auschwitz in the years before prior to the Holocaust and Jewish survivors describe their experiences. A former SS officer discusses being placed in charge of a firing squad.