Auschwitz-Birkenau, Nazi Germany's largest concentration and extermination camp facility, was located nearby the provincial Polish town of Oshwiecim in Galacia, and was established by order of Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler on 27 April 1940.

Private diaries of Goebbels and Himmler unearthed from the secret Soviet archives show that Adolf Hitler personally ordered the mass extermination of the Jews during a meeting of Nazi German regional governors in the chancellery. As Goebbels wrote "With regards to the Jewish question, the Fuhrer decided to make a clean sweep ..."

At Auschwitz children were often killed upon arrival. Children born in the camp were generally killed on the spot. Near the end of the war, in order to cut expenses and save gas, cost-accountant considerations led to an order to place living children directly into the ovens or throw them into open burning pits.

/Louis Bülow

 

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