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Adolf Hitler, chancellor of Germany, tormented and exterminated Jews between Jan. 30, 1933 and May 8,1945. Brutal propaganda, created by the Nazis, were targeted at the the Weimar (why-mar) government and the Jews. The Nazis blamed the Jews for Germany’s ills. Many people were tortured and killed in concentration camps.Auschwitz is said to be the worst of all the concentration camps. Auschwitz, alone, killed at least 1 million people during World War II. It opened in 1940 and is the largest of the concentration camps. Several sections made up Auschwitz: Auschwitz 1 (Birkenau  Birk-in-ow), Auschwitz 2, and Auschwitz 3 (Monowitz). The largest of the facilities, Birkenau, could hold around 90,000 people. The majority of Auschwitz’s victims died in Birkenau. Prisoners were examined by Nazi doctors upon arrival at the camp. Those who were deemed unfit, such as young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and the infirm, were immediately sent to “take showers”. However, what they thought were bathhouses were actually gas chambers. Prisoners who were deemed unfit were not recorded as Auschwitz detainees (dee-tain-ees), so it’s impossible to calculate the exact number of lives taken at the camp.The death camp, Belzec, was located in south-eastern Poland. The death camp was built merely for the extermination of the Jews. Belzec was divided into 2 divisions: Camp 1 and Camp 2. Camp 1 was the reception area that also had the railway ramp. Camp 2 was the extermination area. It included the gas chambers and the burial pits. 20 meters x 30 meters x 6 meters deep, was the average size of the burial pits. The most recent research shows that 434,508 people lost their lives in Belzec, but the exact number will never be known. The first mass killings of Hitler’s “Final Solution” took place a Chelmno (kelm-no). Sonderkommandos (sander-come-an-doe-s) set up the extermination process under the order of Herbert Lange. Lange and his soldiers had a lot of experience with gas vans. The vans had a pipe that released carbon monoxide into the chamber in which the prisoners were locked. Every afternoon Jews were brought in and told to undress. Just like Auschwitz, they were told that they had to be cleaned and were led into a gas van. The driver then took the dead prisoners 2.5 miles away into Rzuchow (riz-a-chow) forest. Here other Jews were forced to dig the graves for all of the dead prisoners. A group of 40-50 Jews hauled and dumped the corpses into the graves. Another group sorted through the belongings of the prisoners and sent them back to Germany to be sold to other Germans. There were at least 370 wagons filled with clothing due to this process. There were around 320,000 people killed at Chelmno.

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