The focus of this investigation will be “To what extent did Auschwitz-Birkenau affect the lives of the Jews in Europe during the years of 1933-1945?” One of the two main sources that I will evaluate is www.ushmm.org. This website breaks it into years from 1933-1945. The significance is that it’s exactly during the years of my question which means I can use all of the information provided. Also, it breaks the years down into categories.
The categories are Concentration Camps 1933-1939, 1939-1942, and 1942-1945. This is significant because it gives a time frame of when things occurred. For example, if you wanted to know about how the camps commenced you would just scroll to the title and it will tell you the dates. Also, it’s a main source because it says events that took place in the concentration camps such as the food, sleeping arrangement, treatments, and work they did.
Another source that is one of my main sources is www.eiu.edu. This primary source is merely a sample of resources from the digitized collections at the Library of Congress. It’s a main because it provide pictures and information about concentration camp. One picture shown is a Jewish shop window smashed during the kristallnacht, Berlin. This helped demonstrate the brutality of the concentration camps.
The first source I will be evaluating is a secondary source and it was from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.(www.ushmm.org) The purpose is that it’s trying to communicate what it was like to be in a concentration camp. Also, it was trying to make people see how badly the Jews were treated. This context might not be fully legitimate because it’s a secondary source and it doesn’t have an author.
It can be trustworthy since the years are accurate and it came from a museum that dealt with the holocaust. What makes this unreliable is that it does not have an author and it was published in the U.S. when the incident occurred in a different country.The second source that I will be evaluating is a picture that came from a Jewish shop that had its window smashed during kristallnacht Berlin.
(http://www.eiu.edu/eiutps/holocaust_psset.php) It was published in 1938 and it’s a primary source. The purpose is to demonstrate how brutal people where on the Jews before, during, and after the camps.
Yes, it’s legitimate accurate because it’s a primary source and it’s also a picture that can be backed up. It’s historically accurate because the brutality towards the Jew’s happened in the 1930’s and 1938 falls in the time frame. This source has a lot of value and it can be trusted because it’s in the right time period and it’s a primary source. What can be unreliable is that we don’t know who took this picture so a Jew could have taken it to make it look like they were being treated worse than what they really were. Section 2: Investigation (1300) (1122)Introduction: To a full extent the camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau affected the lives of the Jews in Europe during the years of 1933-1945. The reason why I chose the years of 1933- 1945 was because 1933 was the year the first concentration camp was established in Germany. The whole concept of concentration camps came when Hitler was appointed as chancellor on January 1933.
Since Hitler was now the chancellor of Germany in the following weeks the Nazi’s came to power. From here everything changed. Authorities established detention camps which were made to incarcerate people who oppose or perceived to oppose Nazi policy. German authorities established camps all over germany to handle the mass population that was being arrested. By doing this it separated many families and many family members lost their loved ones which impacted their lives greatly.Before Camps: The opening of the first Auschwitz camp opened near Oswiecim.
Construction began in May of 1940. As time progressed the camp expanded through forced labour. The establishment of three camps affected the people by not knowing whether or not they were gonna get incarcerated.
This sent out a scare because families did not know if they were gonna be separated from one another or even if they would survive the whole process. When the commencement of the second concentration camp went underway the fear that was already there was just inflated. Due to the fact that people knew what these concentration camps were like and what they did to them and their families. As construction continued people started to see these camps come together. By the time the third camp opened people were already frightened so much so that they decided to hide from the police and tried to escape before being incarcerated. People’s lives were distraught. The life that they once had were being torn away. Many people died before arriving to the camps.
The journey there was horrendous. The trip to the camps could take many days with no food or water. They were all so jam packed in carts that they were treated like they were animals, which is what concentration camps thought of them as. All this chaos of trying to get them to the camps lead to a separation and death of families. Many from this process never saw them again. During Camps: Birkenau was built in March 1942 due to the fact that there needed to be more room for prisoners. The barracks that were located throughout the camps were designed from horse stables.
When people were first gonna enter the camp gates there was a big sign that read “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work will give you freedom). They wanted to promote a false illusion that by working hard and doing as you are told it will result in your freedom, however the sorrowful truth was that the prisoners fate was to slave labor. The entire perimeter was surrounded by barbed wire and 28 armed watchtowers.
These two things combined made escaping virtually impossible. Their only real chance of escaping was death. This affected them because since they were all jammed into a horse stable with no sanitation measures the spread of disease was expeditious. So many of the prisoners died this way and never got to reunite with their families. To most of the prisoners it came as a shock that their relatives were lost forever and the only time they would ever be reunited was in heaven. Once they have entered the camps the registration process began. The first thing they had to do was surrender all their proof of identity, valuables,clothing and personal possessions.
Later, the prisoner received a card with a camp number before being taken to the camp barber where all body hair was removed. After being undressed and shaved the prisoners were then driven to the showers, which was followed by the issuing of camp clothing. The striped clothes were not changed for many months and were inefficient against the cold. The registration process also included the tattooing of the prisoners camp number on their left forearm. This affected their lives drastically because they went from their homes with families to being degraded from everything and deprived from their humanity. Not only did this affect them after the camp but it also affected them during from losing all memories of family members and relatives. This traumatizing experience and the endless reminders that came from the tattoo of their prison camp number lead to a heart rending future.
This camp also contained gas chambers and crematories. Having the chambers right next to the barracks gave a never ending reminder to the prisoners that at any given time they could be forced in the showers to be gassed and cremated. Overall, during the camps was when the most people were traumatized and killed and were most people got separated.After Camps: One of the ways the camp affected their lives was once they got out of the concentration camps. In 1944-1945, the allied armies liberated the concentration camps. Tragically, deaths in the camp continued for many weeks after the liberation process.
Many of the prisoners were too weak to have a chance of survival. After experiencing this they were traumatized and their lives after this were not the same. Although they were liberated they had nothing. All the prisoners had to start from scratch since everything was taken from them.
Many would go to places to get help which is how they started establishing their lives again. There was even a couple, Bud and Sonia, who found one another at one of these help centers. From here they got married and migrated to the U.S. where they commenced their new lives with kids. Dispute the fact that Bud and Sonia had a happy ended many prisoners didn’t and they would live their lives with sorrow knowing that their lives would never be the same as before. This is how these camps affected the lives of people in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp during the years of 1933-1945.
Conclusion:In Conclusion, the Nazis, organized the destruction of the Jews, but the question of why they did it is still unknown. Concentrations camps weather it be Auschwitz-Birkenau, all had one thing in common, treating prisoners like slaves and like animals. At this camp there were about 405,000 people registered and only 65,000 survived.
The method of killing the Jews was undesirable. First by torture and then by plain murder. It is a shame that people had to endure such barbarous treatment. There have been many estimates that 1.6 million were murdered at these camps.
This all goes to show us that we all affect history weather it be for better or worse.Section 3: Reflection (400) By conducting this investigation i’ve used many methods that historians use when carrying out a historical investigation. I developed a skill that is important while investigating a topic, carefully analyzing sources. In my investigation I used primary and secondary sources such as a report from Alfred Wetzler and Rudolf Vrba. Just like many historians would. Also, similarly to how historians examine the past, I analyzed the sources that I researched to help answer my question.
Another thing that historians do is ask questions because they need to discover more about the topic. I asked questions to provide a more in depth knowledge about my question. Lastly, I read books by historians on my subject, read documents, and looked at evidence which are methods that historians use. While doing this investigation there were many limitations that arose from using my methods of investigation. For example, while reading about my topic from secondary sources the documents were biased. This only provided me with one side of the topic rather than a whole.
Also, examining evidence such as pictures provided many challenges because they are pictures and they can be interpreted in many ways depending on what the examiner sees. These are some of the limitations that I encountered while performing my investigation. Doing a historical investigation isn’t easy because unlike scientist and mathematicians there is no “Correct Answer.” Sources and evidence can be interpreted in many ways. It all depends on the person. Although all sources are open for interpretation that doesn’t guarantee that everything you get out of the source is “acceptable.” As the investigator it’s their job to find the best answer to the investigation. All which include but not limited to assessing limitation, value, purpose, origin, and content.
The reliability of a source can be evaluated in many ways. First, you look at the type of source you’re evaluating. If it were to be primary it would give you more accurate information.
Also, you can look for things such as who wrote it, where was it written, and who it was intended for. Bias is where you are associated with something so you have a prejudgement of something. Selective is where you choose something because you believe it’s better or more qualified. In my investigation I tried to eliminate any chance of their being biased by using both sides of the story and not praising any source over another.