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Corruption (4/6)

This is also part of this series: Auschwitz - The Nazis and the Final Solution (6)

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Subjects: Genocide, History, Holocaust, Jewish Studies, War, World War Two

Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: BBC
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 50 mins
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2005
Available in French: No

By 1943, 45 sub-camps are dotted round the Auschwitz region, most providing slave labour for armaments factories and other industrial concerns. At the centre of this web is the giant camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau with another, even more sinister, source of income - clothes and valuables taken from Jews arriving there to be gassed. The Nazi leadership naturally intends such wealth to fill the coffers of the Third Reich in Berlin, but much of it actually stays at the camp, as the SS at Auschwitz have their fingers well and truly in the till. And despite it contravening the Nazis' strict racial purity laws, sexual liaisons in the camp between the SS and prisoners are also occurring, often forcibly, in exchange for life-saving favours. There are even love affairs. The corruption is clearly out of control. An SS investigator arrives to root out the offenders and uncovers clear evidence of misdemeanours by the SS. Rather than being disgraced, Hess is promoted to a desk job in Concentration Camp Administration in Berlin. Himmler agrees to formalise the role of sex for privileged prisoners by opening a brothel in the main camp. He believes it will help to motivate the workforce. Meanwhile, Mengele uses the inmates at Auschwitz to carry out horrific pseudo-scientific experiments. He is particularly interested in children, especially twins, and uses them to research the power of genetic inheritance, an area of interest to many Nazi scientists.

Links: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/