As a child, living in a small town in America, my home was located right beside the railroad tracks going through the center of the state of Missouri; I would frequently look out the window and see workers repairing the railroad tracks. The tracks required frequent maintenance, which was quickly accomplished.
Today, I read a news story which seems to suggest that it would have taken a long time to repair the tracks leading to Auschwitz-Birkenau and that the Jews could have been saved if the tracks had been blown up.
The following quote is from the news article:
To get to the Birkenau camp from the main Auschwitz camp, turn right after exiting from the parking lot. The road curves to the left and goes over the railroad overpass where Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler stood on March 1, 1941 when he selected the village of Birkenau to be the location of a new addition to the Auschwitz main camp. At that time, the invasion of the Soviet Union and the plan to exterminate all the Jews in Europe was only months away.
From the railroad overpass, the road leads directly to the Gate of Death, shown in my photo above.
The railroad spur line that goes through the gate house begins on the left side of the gate, about a quarter of a mile away, and curves around until it forms a straight line in front of the gate.
Trains coming from the west entered the Birkenau camp from tracks on the left side of the gate, as you are facing it, and did not pass the railroad station in the town of Auschwitz. Trains coming from the opposite direction passed the train station in Auschwitz and then entered the camp on the spur line. The train tracks end only a few yards from two of the gas chambers inside the Birkenau camp.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau gate house was not built until 1943, long after the Birkenau camp was first opened.
The first inmates, who were Soviet Prisoners of War, arrived at Birkenau on October 7, 1941. At first, the gate shown in my photo above was for trucks and pedestrians.
Railroad tracks were not laid through the gate until the Spring of 1944, just before the transports of Hungarian Jews began to arrive. According to the Auschwitz Museum, 434,351 of these Hungarian Jews were not registered at Birkenau; instead, they were gassed immediately upon arrival.
At the height of the deportation of the Hungarian Jews, during a 10 week period, up to 12,000 Jews were allegedly gassed and burned each day. If only the Allies had destroyed the railroad tracks into Birkenau, they could have been saved.