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The famous Birkenau gate

Birkenau

Auschwitz II, known as Birkenau, was purpose built three kilometers outside the town as an extermination camp on the site of the village of Brzezinka, which no longer exists.

Birkenau has become the prime symbol of what became known as the Holocaust. At least about one-third of the estimated six million Jews killed in Nazi extermination camps during World War II perished at this place.

There were 4 gas chambers capable of killing up to 2000 people at a time (using poisonous cyanide gas pellets called Zyklon-B which were manufactured by a pest-control company in Germany) and 4 crematoria to dispose of their bodies. Approximately five to six thousand people died daily. Those who were not gassed and cremated upon arrival, died from cruel labor and starvation.

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