The death camps were built with the sole purpose of killing. Extermination camps were different from the concentration camps found in Nazi Germany - they were designed to fulfill the Nazi plan to annihilate the Jewish population. Those who were not killed in the camps’ gas chambers were starved, worked and beaten to death.
Auschwitz-Birkenau, or simply Auschwitz, is the best known of all the death camps used by the Nazis. It is believed that around 2 million Jews, Roma gypsies and Soviet POWs were murdered at Auschwitz. In comparison around 250,000 were killed at Sobibor, 725,000 were put to death at Treblinka.
Among the other Nazi camps that witnessed the largest number of deaths were Chelmno (600,000), Belzec (also 600,000), and Majdanek (235,000).There was also another Nazi death camp discovered at Stutthof in north-west Poland where it is believed 67,000 were murdered.
The plan to establish death camps was orchestrated at the the Wannsee Conference of 1942, as part of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. Before the end of the war many of the official documents from the camp were destroyed by Nazi officials. This makes it impossible to estimate the exact number of people killed in the death camps.
See also: Auschwitz-Birkenau
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