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Throughout the world Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror and the Holocaust The German forces occupying Poland During World War 11 established in May 1940 a concentration camp on the outskirts of the town Oswiecim The Germans called the town Auschwitz which also gave its name to the nearby death camp Over the next few years it was expanded into three main camps Auschwitz I Auschwitz II-BirkenauAuschwitz III-Monowitz and more then 40 lesser camps They were followed by Soviet prisoners of war Gypsies and deportees of various other nationalities Beginning in June 1942 however the most massive murder campaign in history began in Auschwitz when the Nazis put into operation a plan to systematically destroy the entire Jewish population of Europe The SS would tell the masses of victims they were about to go on a journey to resettle in an undetermined country The Jews Poles Gypsies and all others from various Nazi-occupied countries of Europe brought with them not only items of personal use but also their most valuable and precious family possessions Little did they know that the SS would confiscate all these possessions upon arrival at the camp and store them in warehouses On a large open campground these buildings contained the possessions taken from the prisoners These sheds were cynically referred to as the houses of abundance It was a crude name given by the SS as it was also known as the land of plenty The SS used everything they could everything from gold found in the personal jewelry and in the dental work of the murdered victims to human hair The SS even confiscated their shoes and gave them others to wear once inside the camp The leather was then used to make articles for the uniforms worn by the German army The confiscated articles once sorted by the prisoners were then transported back to Germany to meet the needs of the SS and the civilian populace
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