According to an article on this web site, “Rosie and Max won a school essay writing competition to win places on the government funded Lessons from Auschwitz Project which included a day trip to the Polish mausoleum.”
This quote from Rosie is on the web site cited above:
“We visited both Auschwitz One, which was a former Polish military barracks, brick built and the site’s work camp and Auschwitz Two, which was purpose built by the Nazis and was the death camp.”
Rosie is correct: the brick buildings in the Auschwitz One camp were previously used by the Polish military as army barracks. This implies that the brick buildings in the main Auschwitz camp were built by the Polish military, but they were actually built by the Germans before World War I and were originally intended to house migrant farm workers.
Why is this small detail important enough for me to waste my time blogging about it? It is important because the fact that Auschwitz One (the main camp) was originally built as a transit camp, for migrant workers who traveled to farms all over Europe to work, tells us that Auschwitz was the best location in all of Europe for a TRANSIT camp. Before that, Auschwitz was a center for the production of liquor, which was shipped all over the world; liquor from Auschwitz was sneaked into America during Prohibition.
Auschwitz was a railroad hub for all the train lines in Europe. You can read all about it in the book “Auschwitz 1270 to the Present” on page 59. This book reads like a revisionist book, until you get to the end, and even then, the authors were honest enough to write that the gas chamber in the main camp is a reconstruction. I read this book before I went to Poland in 1998; when I toured the Auschwitz main camp with a Jewish guide, I was told that the gas chamber was original. (more…)