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Auschwitz was the most streamlined mass killing centers ever created and was one of the five death camps constructed by the Nazis during World War II Construction of the camp began after Heinrich Himmler ordered its creation on April 27 1940 Auschwitz continued to grow until 1945 when it was evacuated by the Nazis Auschwitz was composed of three large camps and 45 sub-camps Auschwitz I which was the main camp was the original section of the camp that was built near the Polish town of Oswiecim At the entrance of Auschwitz I stood the infamous sign that stated Arbeit Macht Frei which means work makes one free Because this death camp was so crowded Auschwitz II or Birkenau was built Birkenau was built approximately 3 kilometers 15 miles away from Auschwitz I and was the real killing center of the Auschwitz death camp It was in Birkenau where the dreaded selections were carried out on the ramp and where the sophisticated and camouflaged underground gas chambers laid in waiting Auschwitz III or Buna was built last as housing for the forced laborers at the Buna synthetic rubber factory Jews Gypsies homosexuals asocials criminals and prisoners of war were gathered and stuffed into cattle cars on trains and sent to Auschwitz When the train stopped at Auschwitz II Birkenau prisoners were forced to exit from the train and gather upon the landing which was known as the ramp On the ramp SS officers would make selections Most women children and those that looked unfit or unhealthy were sent to the left while most young men and others that were fit would be sent to the right Though these people did not know this at the time the left line meant immediate death at the gas chambers and the right meant probable death from hard labor The majority of the people sent to Auschwitz were either sent directly to the gas chambers or they were
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