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Block 11, Auschwitz, Nazi Concentration Camp. Poland.

(PID:49895298208) Source
posted by J.J.Williamson Specialist Photographer alias J.J.Williamson. on Thursday 14th of May 2020 10:49:23 PM

Block 11 is quite a sensitive block with respect to photography. Photography and videography are prohibited within this block for very good reasons. Block 11 is one mass [non-reconstructed] memorial where thousands were barbarically murdered. Putting it bluntly; Block 11 was the name of a brick building in Auschwitz I, the Stammlager or main camp of the Auschwitz concentration camp network. The block was used for executions and torture. Between the tenth and eleventh block stood the death wall (reconstructed after the war) where thousands of prisoners were lined up for execution by firing squad. The block contained special torture chambers in which various punishments were applied to prisoners. Some could include being locked in a dark chamber for several days or being forced to stand in one of four standing cells. Punishment in these special compartments (one square metre each, with a hole 5x5 cm for breathing), consisted of confining four prisoners, who were forced by the lack of space to remain standing all night for up to twenty nights, while still being forced to work during the day. It was at Block 11 that the first attempts to kill people with Zyklon B were implemented in September 1941. Prisoner interrogations involving extreme torture were also conducted within Block 11, often with use of the "Boger Swing" device, (Boger-Schaukel) invented by Wilhelm Boger, an SS officer who served within Auschwitz's Political Department. Block No. 11 was known by the prisoners [of Auschwitz] as "the death block." It filled several roles, of which the most important was that of central camp jail. Here, the SS placed male and female prisoners from all over the camp who were suspected by the camp Gestapo of belonging to the underground, planning escapes or mutinies, or maintaining contact with the outside world. Poles from outside the camp were also held here after being arrested for such offences as offering aid to prisoners. They were subjected to brutal interrogation that usually ended in a sentence of death by being shot or hanged. In the first years of the camp, the penal company (Strafkompanie) and corrective company (Erziehungskompanie), assigned to the harshest labor, were quartered here. Almost all newly arrived Jewish prisoners and Polish priests were initially placed in the penal company, where the number of victims was highest. The special group of prisoners assigned to burn corpses in the crematorium (Sonderkommando) was temporarily quartered in this block. So-called police prisoners (Polizeihäftlinge) were imprisoned here after 1943. These were Poles, suspected of resistance activity and held at the disposition of the Katowice Judicial District Gestapo. They waited in this block for the verdict of the German summary court, which usually sentenced them to death. The SS incarcerated prisoners guilty of violating the camp regulations in the punishment cells located in the basement. Prisoners sentenced to death by starvation were also placed here in 1941. Among those who died in cell no. 18 in the basement of this block was St. Maksymilian Maria Kolbe. In connection with SS operational plans for beginning the total extermination of the Jews, a trial of the use of Zyklon B gas for mass killing was carried out in the basement on September 3-5, 1941. In this test, 600 Soviet prisoners of war and 250 Polish patients selected from the camp "hospital" were murdered. Men, women and children were horrifically tortured and murdered here, and while this image may not necessarily serve a purpose in some peoples eyes. Such as, its not art, its just a boring a window with bars over it, or there's nor much to look at. That's exactly how the POW's in these blocks felt. Many POW interviews I have heard about relating to block 11 are pretty horrifying. POW's detailing the screams of children, men and women, the beatings, the pain of torture. Sometimes looking on the outside is all we need to understand what happened on the inside.

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  • Published 07.07.22
  • Resolution 695x1024
  • Image type jpg
  • File Size 382273 byte.

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