Auschwitz: Place of Horrors - Summary

Most of the Nazi death camps were located in Poland. Auschwitz, one of the most notorious, was located near the Polish city of Oswiecim, about 60 kilometers from Krakow. On June 14, 1940, the first camp inmates arrived. They were Polish political prisoners (numbers 31 to 758).

 In 1944, the Nazi war machine was producing materiel at the I.G. Farben plant located in Dwory. Close to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the plant was a potential bombing target. Before air raids could commence, however, the Allies need aerial reconnaissance photographs.

On the 4th of April that year, before a rail spur routing prisoners directly into the camp was completed, an American plane approached the I.G. Farben complex for the first time.

Another American reconnaissance mission took place on June 26, 1944. The photograph obtained that day, and others like it, have since been used by other interested parties (like the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum) to position camp buildings demolished by the fleeing Nazis.

Reviewing those photos in 1979, with the help of sophisticated equipment, the CIA made startling discoveries. What analysts found - an operating death camp - provides evidence which the CIA calls “unique in the world.”

In this story about the infamous death camp, virtually visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Oswiecim, Poland. See pictures, blueprints and documents which the Soviet Army confiscated after liberating the camp and its remaining prisoners.

Discover the CIA Report, and its photographic analysis, which claims that “Extermination operations in progress were recorded on aerial photography of 25 August 1944.” Examine other primary sources about Auschwitz to conclude when the Allies first knew of its actual purpose.


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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"Auschwitz: Place of Horrors" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2002. Jul 18, 2018.
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