The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

If Auschwitz wasn't a "death camp," what was its true purpose?


6. If Auschwitz wasn't a "death camp," what was its true purpose?

The IHR says (original):

It was a large-scale manufacturing complex. Synthetic rubber (Buna) was made there, and its inmates were used as a workforce. The Buna process was used in the U.S. during WWII.

The IHR says (revised):

It was an internment center and part of a large-scale manufacturing complex. Synthetic fuel was produced there, and its inmates were used as a workforce.

Nizkor replies:

True to some extent. Auschwitz was a huge complex; it had ordinary POW camps (in which British airmen were also held, and they testified of atrocities in the nearby extermination camp). Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, was the largest camp, and the gas chambers were there. Auschwitz III, or Monowitz, was the industrial manufacturing plant.

Many prisoners were indeed used for forced labor in Auschwitz. But the "unfit" -- meaning the elderly, the children, and most of the women -- were immediately sent to the gas chambers.

In its revised answer, the IHR states that "synthetic fuel" was produced there, not Buna. This is more accurate. By war's end, not a single ounce of rubber had been produced at the Buna camp.

It's a tactical error on their part to admit this, however, because in question number 40, they state that it was impossible to burn corpses because there wasn't any fuel. Yet they admit that there was a fuel-synthesis plant just a few miles away. It did produce fuel, and in fact was an Allied bombing target for that reason. Another internal contradiction.


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