MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Gas chamber I

Auschwitz I, Crematorium I and the first gas chamber

This object is preserved in an original state to a large degree. Crematorium I operated from August 1940 in a prewar ammunition bunker adapted for its new function. The largest room was a morgue, which was changed into a provisional gas chamber. There were three furnaces for burning corpses in crematorium I, ordered by the camp administration from the Topf and Söhne company, which installed them.

When the gas chambers in Birkenau were going into operation, the camp authorities transferred the mass killing operation there and gradually phased out the first gas chamber. In July 1943, after the completion of the Birkenau crematoria, the burning of corpses in crematorium I ended. The furnaces and chimney were dismantled, and the holes in the roof used for introducing Zyklon B were closed. Two of the three furnaces and the chimney were reconstructed (from original parts), and several of the holes in the roof of the gas chamber were reopened.

Outside the boundaries of the Museum, the railroad siding and unloading platform (the so-called Judenramp or "old ramp") is commemorated. Transports of Jews deported for killing, and also of Roma and prisoners of other nationalities, arrived here from 1942-1944.