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Before the War
The Holocaust
Displaced Persons Camps
Where Can We Go?
The Journey
Welcome to Canada
New Lives
Canadian Immigration Overview
III. The Concentration Camps
When we arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau (Map), we were herded onto a platform, our belongings taken, and a selection process began. We were met by Dr. Mengele and other Nazi officers. I was immediately separated from my mother, sister and grandparents and selected for work. They brought me to the barracks and the next morning I was tattooed on my arm with the number A12929 and sent over to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Work was actually outside the camp in a factory that made wood for German military barracks. My duties included cleaning the machines and taking the wood shavings and sawdust to the dump.    
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First established as a Nazi concentration camp in 1940 at Oswiecim, Poland primarily for Polish prisoners. In 1942 it was expanded to include the extermination camp-Birkenau (Auschwitz II) and the labour camp-Buna-Monowitz (Auschwitz III). Surrounded by numerous sub camps, it grew to become the largest of all the Nazi concentration camps. Approximately 1.1 to 1.6 million Jews and 100,000 other victims were murdered or died at Auschwitz. At liberation, only 7600 prisoners — those not forced on death marches — were found alive.
A member of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) founded in 1919 and brought to power in 1933 under Adolf Hitler.
Leslie's Map
I. Childhood in Hungary
II. Into the Ghetto
III. The Concentration Camps
IV. At Liberation
V. Refugee Life
VI. A Home in Canada
VII. Reflections
Mengele, Dr. Josef (1911-1978)
Physician, anthropologist and member of the Nazi party, who worked at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. Infamous for his 'selections', which sent Jews to the gas chambers, Mengele conducted sadistic medical experiments on Jews, Roma and Sinti, twins and people with physical disabilities. He escaped to South America after the war and is presumed to have drowned in Brazil in 1978.
The process of choosing victims to be killed in the concentration camps. These 'selections" targeted women, children, the elderly and those physically unfit for slave labour. Medical personnel often carried out the selections.