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Auschwitz – The Nazi Solution (Paperback)

An Illustrated History and Guide

WWII Prisoners Of War Military Poland in WWII

By Andrew Rawson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 136
Illustrations: 30
ISBN: 9781473827981
Published: 7th April 2015
Last Released: 16th September 2019



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The camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau were an important part of the Nazis' final solution to the Jewish question. Over one million people were murdered in its gas chambers and tens of thousands of prisoners were worked to death in the nearby sub-camps. Others were held in the quarantine area before they were deported to work in the Third Reich.

This is the story of the development of Auschwitz from a Polish prison camp into a concentration camp, and a thorough account of the building of Birkenau and the gas chambers, which grew into industrial killing machines. Rawson relates what life was like for prisoners, revealing where the unsuspecting new arrivals came from and how they were greeted at the camp with the humiliating selection process; how many were tricked into entering the gas chambers, while others were stripped of their identity and put to work; how prisoners struggled to survive on a poor diet and no health care; how they faced a grinding daily routine with frequent punishments; and how the camps were organized from the commandants, their assistants and the guards, to the kapos and stuben who supervised work parties and the barracks. He details how a few brave souls tried to resist, how even fewer made a break for freedom and the heartbreaking story of liberation and life afterwards.

There are instructions on how to get to nearby Krakow – an ideal base – and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Information on how best to spend your time there is also included, making this an invaluable book that is both a vivid account of life in the concentration camps and an essential guide for visitors who want to explore the past of this notorious site.

There are so many books covering the German genocide program that it is easy to miss one
which provides something unique, or comprehensive, or insightful, that makes it one of a small number of very valuable documents on the topics. This is a history and a guide which places it in a specific category.

The author is provided a comprehensive account of how Auschwitz expanded, what it was responsible for, who worked as guards and bureaucrats, how people were shipped to this location, how the guards were provided with recreation, and how its killing came to an end. He has also provided useful information for those who wish to visit the location and his able text is supported by many well-chosen images.

It is an awful story that has been told well.

Much Recommended.


This book is part of a series that provides guidance on how to visit the famous - and infamous - locations of World War II. This volume gives the reader the background on the camp and the experiences of those trapped there. This history of Auschwitz is followed by direction to the City of Krakow, a good starting point for a reader to begin touring the area and viewing what is left of one of history's most horrific places - in the hopes it will be remembered as a warning for the future.

WWII History, February 2016 - Christopher Miskimon
 Andrew Rawson

About Andrew Rawson

ANDREW RAWSON has over forty books to his name, including eight Pen and Sword ‘Battleground Europe’ travel books and three History Press ‘Handbook’ reference books. He has edited the minutes of the Second World War conferences and the top-secret correspondence between George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower. He books include covering Poland’s struggle in the twentieth century, Auschwitz Extermination Camp and wartime Krakow. He has also written a ten-part series on the Western Front campaigns between 1914-18. He has a master’s degree with Birmingham University’s history department.

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