10 Horrifying Facts About The Auschwitz Concentration Camps

6. Witold Pilecki, a Polish soldier, volunteered to be imprisoned inAuschwitz in order to gather information, escape and let the world know about the Holocaust.

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While infiltrating the camp, Pilecki organized a resistance movement and as early as 1941, advised the Western Allies of Nazi Germany’s concentration camp atrocities. He then escaped from the camp in 1943 after nearly two and a half years of imprisonment. Pilecki took part within the Warszawa rebellion in August 1944. He remained loyal to the London-based Polish government and was killed in 1948 by the Stalinist secret police Urząd Bezpieczeństwa on charges of operating for “foreign imperialism”, thought to be a euphemism for MI6. Until 1989, info on his exploits and fate was suppressed by the Polish communist regime.

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7. Bayer, famous for producing aspirin, bought prisoners from Auschwitz to use as research subjects for testing new drugs.

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German doctors performed a huge amount of form of experiments on prisoners at Auschwitz. SS doctors tested the effectiveness of X-rays as a sterilization device by administering massive doses to lady prisoners. Prof. Dr. Carl Clauberg injected chemicals into women’s uteruses in an attempt to glue them shut. Bayer, then a subsidiary of IG Farben, bought prisoners to use as research subjects for testing new medicines. Prisoners were also deliberately infected with spotted fever for vaccination analysis and exposed to deadly substances to check the consequences.

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8. About 60 million Reichmarks, equivalent to £125m today, was generated for the Nazi state by slave labor at Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

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9. When a Holocaust denial group offered $50,000 dollars to “prove that Jews were gassed at Auschwitz,” a camp survivor, Mel Mermelstein sent them definitive proof. When they refused to pay, he sued them and was given $90,000 when the court noted, “It is simply a fact.”

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Shoes piled up from one day’s worth of  victims.

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10. A man endured Mengele removing a kidney without anaesthesia and survived Auschwitz because he was the 201st person in line for a 200-person gas chamber.

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When they had no more use for him, the Nazis sent him to the gas chamber. He survived only by chance: The gas chamber held only 200 people. Ganon was number 201.

On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops. Yitzhak Ganon made it back to Greece and found his surviving siblings — a brother and a sister — and emigrated to Israel in 1949. He got married. And he swore never to go to a doctor again. “Whenever he was sick, even when it was really bad,” his wife Ahuva says, “he told me it was just fatigue.”

But now Ganon is happy he finally went to the hospital after his heart attack. One week later, he had another heart attack and was given a pacemaker. “If the doctors hadn’t been there,” he says, smiling for the first time, “I would be dead now.” Yitzhak Ganon has survived, again.

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