Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

PLACE

No other Nazi concentration camp is as well known for the atrocities committed within than the Auschwitz-Bikenau camp. Auschwitz and its two other main subcamps, made up the largest Nazi concentration camp. The camp served three main purposes: to imprison real enemies of the Nazi regime, to provide a supply of forced labor for SS-owned companies, and to eliminate groups seen by the Nazis as unfit for survival, including Jews, gypsies, and Poles. Medical experiments on twins, dwarfs, and other groups also made Auschwitz notorious. Auschwitz is the most famous of all Nazi camps because of its size and the large number of lives lost within the walls of this death camp. The girls in this camp were raped and slaughter for the amusement of the guards.

Irene Hizme, A Twin Remembers the Medical Experiments at Auschwitz

    Irene and her twin brother Rene were born Renate and Rene Guttmann. The family moved to Prague shortly after the twins' birth, where they were living when the Germans occupied Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939. A few months later, uniformed Germans arrested their father. Decades later, Irene and Rene learned that he was killed at the Auschwitz camp in December 1941. Irene, Rene, and their mother were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, and later to the Auschwitz camp. At Auschwitz, the twins were separated and subjected to medical experiments. Irene and Rene remained separated for some time after their liberation from Auschwitz. The group Rescue Children brought Irene to the United States in 1947, where she was reunited with Rene in 1950.

    Personal Account: “I, of course, have, um, unfortunately a lot of memories of, um, of the hospital and, um, the doctor's office. It, I seem to recall spending a great deal of time, um, there. And also being in the hospital and being very sick. And, um, I know one time, when I went to the doctor's office, that they took blood from me and, it was extremely painful because it was from the left side of my neck. That's a strange thing to remember. I also remember having blood taken out of my finger, but that wasn't quite so bad. And I also remember having to sit, um, very still for long periods to be measured and, or weighed, or in X rays. I rem...I remember X rays, X rays. Um...and injections. I remember injections. And then I'd be sick. Because then I, I'd be in this hospital. And I remember having a high fever, because I know they were taking my temperature, somebody was. Um, I really got to hate doctors. I, I got to be afraid. I used, I was terribly scared of doctors, I still am. They're a nightmare. Hospitals are out of the question and illness is unacceptable.”

    Source: United States Holocaust Museum; http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/media_oi.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005189&MediaId=1149


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    Created:
    July 29, 2009
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    November 12, 2015
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