In October 1941 Auschwitz construction chief Karl Bischoff and SS architect Fritz Ertl
were developing plans for a camp to be built about a mile and a half away from Auschwitz, on a site the Germans called Birkenau.
The original occupancy figure of 550 was crossed out and replaced with 744.
The new camp was to hold 100,000 prisoners. The architects built suffering into the plans. Birkenau had no provision for adequate water or waste disposal, and putting so many people together meant that the barracks were breeding grounds for disease. Newly available documents reveal that at the last minute, Bischoff decided to force even more prisoners into each barrack. A handwritten change on the plans shows the occupancy figure of 550 crossed out and replaced with 744.
Surprisingly, the Birkenau camp wasn’t initially designed to take Jews, but Russian prisoners of war.
in October 1941 Bischoff arrived in Auschwitz…
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