MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Treatment

Throughout the existence of the camp, the authorities there treated Jews with the most ruthless, and often quite refined, cruelty. SS men regarded a Jewish life as the least valuable of all. To the greatest possible extent, Jews fell victim to starvation, cold, hard labor, constant harassment and abuse, and various kinds of cyclical extermination operations.

Jewish prisoners suffered worse mistreatment than others during registration and in the course of the penal physical exercises called “sport.” A high proportion of Jews were sent to the penal company. As opposed to other prisoners, they were forbidden in principle to write letters or receive parcels. Of the Jews who arrived in Auschwitz during the early years, very few survived.

Beginning in the spring of 1942, Jews began to be placed in Auschwitz after arriving in separate transports, although Jews arriving together with non-Jews from various prisons continued to be admitted to the camp.