Auschwitz

Question:

I wonder if you can help me. My stepfather was a guard at Auschwitz. This I found out when he died in 1976. I was very schocked to hear this. I would like to find out if he is named at this camp Could you tell how I would find this information. Thank you for your help.

Gord McFee Responds:

Dear sir or madam,

I am one of the volunteers who answers these questions, It is obviously much more difficult to help, not knowing your stepfather's name. There is a list of Auschwitz personnel at the website below which may help you.

http://www.skalman.nu/third-reich/ss-camp-auschwitz.htm

Best of luck.

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Best regards,

Gord McFee

Question:

I am writting a paper that is sopposed to prove that Auschwitz was built to be a death camp. If you were writting this paper what scholarly sources would you use? Also, are there any main points you can think of that I might consider?

Jamie McCarthy Responds:

Auschwitz was unquestionably a "death camp," whatever definition of that term you choose to use. It was unique among Nazi camps in that it was both a concentration camp and an extemination camp; while hundreds of thousands were put to death immediately upon arrival, also there were, over the years, hundreds of thousands who were housed in barracks and forced to provide labor for the Third Reich.

The question of precisely when it became a "death camp" is a little more complicated.

The two books I would most definitely recommend on this question are both by Robert-Jan van Pelt. Having studied the architecture and history of the camp most extensively, he is best qualified to explain the details of how and when the construction of the camp revealed its evil nature.

The first book may be hard to find; it is Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present, written with Deborah Dwork. It is a history of both the town and the camp, going back to their very beginnings. This is laid out in a very clear way that will provide you with a good background for your paper.

The second book is probably both easier to find and will provide you with more direct evidence of the sort that you may be looking for. It is The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial .

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