Auschwitz-Birkenau Rebellion (1944)

Auschwitz-Birkenau Rebellion (1944)

The Auschwitz II camp in Birkenau was the largest in the Auschwitz complex. It was an extermination camp (Vernichtungslager), in which prisoners were killed in gas chambers using Zyklon-B gas. It is estimated that over a million people were killed in the camp, including 96,000 Jews, 75,000 Poles and 19,000 Roma. During 1943, resistance groups organized in that camp. Part of the prisoners in each camp worked as labor in gas chambers and crematoria. These workers were separated from the other prisoners and had access to tools for work. On October 7, 1944, a group of such workers staged an uprising. They attacked the SS guards with axes, hammers and other tools, and with hand-made grenades.

They defeated a group of SS men and blew up one of the crematoria. They did so with explosives smuggled into the camp by prisoners employed by the weapons factory. In the action, hundreds of prisoners managed to escape from the camp, but were soon overwhelmed by the action from outside, and then all were executed. Thus this attempt at uprising and flight proved to be a complete failure. By the way, there were also individual attempts to escape from Auschwitz. At least 802 attempts have been known, of which 144 have been successful. For each escaped prisoner, the SS would take ten and sentence them to starvation.

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