In Nazi usage, "euthanasia" referred to the systematic killing of those Germans whom the Nazis deemed "unworthy of life" because of alleged genetic diseases or defects. Beginning in the fall of 1939, gassing installations were established at Bernburg, Brandenburg, Grafeneck, Hadamar, Hartheim, and Sonnenstein. Patients were selected by doctors and transferred from clinics to one of these centralized gassing installations and killed. After public outrage forced an end to centralized killings, doctors instead administered lethal injections to those selected for "euthanasia" in clinics and hospitals throughout Germany. In this way, the "euthanasia" program continued and expanded until the end of World War II.
Kristallnacht—literally, "Crystal Night"—is usually translated from German as the "Night of Broken Glass." It refers to the violent anti-Jewish pogrom of November 9 and 10, 1938. The pogrom occurred throughout Germany, which by then included both Austria and the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. Hundreds of synagogues and Jewish institutions all over the German Reich were attacked, vandalized, looted, and destroyed. Many were set ablaze. Firemen were instructed to let the synagogues burn but to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby structures. The shop windows of thousands of Jewish-owned stores were smashed and the wares within looted. Jewish cemeteries were desecrated. Many Jews were attacked by mobs of Storm Troopers (SA). At least 91 Jews died in the pogrom.
After the Nazis came to power in January 1933, Otto Frank (Anne Frank’s father) left Frankfurt, Germany, for Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The rest of the Frank family soon followed. Anne was the last family member to arrive in Amsterdam in February 1934. In July 1942, German authorities began systematically deporting Jews from throughout the Netherlands to concentration camps and killing centers in the east. That same month, the Frank family went into hiding. They remained in hiding for the next two years. The German SS and police discovered the Frank family in 1944 and deported them to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Later that year, Anne and her sister Margot were transported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Anne and Margot died in Bergen-Belsen in February or March 1945.
Auschwitz played a central role in the "Final Solution," the Nazi plan to murder the Jews of Europe. The Nazis deported Jews from nearly every European country to the Auschwitz II (Birkenau) killing center in occupied Poland. In all, at least 1.1 million Jews and tens of thousands of other people perished in Auschwitz.
1. Camp Commandant's House
2. Main Guard House
3. Camp Administrative Office
5. Reception Building/Prisoner Registration
7. Gas Chamber and Crematorium
8. Storage Buildings and Workshops
9. Storage of Confiscated Belongings
10. Gravel Pit: Execution Site
11. Camp Orchestra Site
12. "Black Wall" Execution Site
13. Block 11: Punishment Bunker
14. Block 10: Medical Experiments
16. Block Commander's Barracks
17. SS Hospital
Auschwitz was the largest camp established by the Germans. It was a complex of camps, including a concentration, extermination, and forced-labor camp. It was located at the town of Oswiecim near the prewar German-Polish border in Eastern Upper Silesia, an area annexed to Germany in 1939. Auschwitz I was the main camp and the first camp established at Oswiecim. Auschwitz II (Birkenau) was the killing center at Auschwitz. Trains arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau almost daily with transports of Jews from virtually every German-occupied country of Europe. Auschwitz III, also called Buna or Monowitz, was established in Monowice to provide forced laborers for nearby factories, including the I.G. Farben works. At least 1.1 million Jews were killed in Auschwitz. Other victims included between 70,000 and 75,000 Poles, 21,000 Roma, and about 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war.
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