HMSendeavour wrote:gl0spana wrote:One question that jumps out at me, is if Auschwitz had this drastically higher mortality rate due to typhus, why keep sending prisoners there, its a death trap?
Why does that jump out at you? Where else would you send them? Are you implying that they sent them there because they knew they'd get typhus and die? Are you suggesting the Germans had a new killing method not yet discovered in which they schemed to exterminate the Jews via typhus?
This guy is not thinking very hard.
If soldiers on the frontline had a high mortality rate, why keep conscripting more civilians into this death trap?
Because it's a war and you are trying to win.
The Third Reich forced able-bodied young German men (and eventually older men, women, even some teenagers) to join the military and fight against those trying to invade Germany.
They also forced communist subversives, POWs, criminals, draft-dodgers, Jews, and others into labor camps to help the war effort.
The OP is now trying to push the argument of murder by pure negligence since he refuses to support his goofy "gas chamber" narrative. He must make it out to seem that the Germans just did not care if Jews lived or died and then sent them to places where they were certain to die of disease or starvation, knowing full well that was going to happen, possibly even doing it partly for that reason.
It's bogus. Lack of food for oneself is never "planned" - sure, destroying crops and blockading food shipments are strategies that have been used in wars against enemy countries throughout history; but the Germans wanted all of the food they could get. It's not as if they said
"Well, we have enough to feed our own people, we can't feed the camp prisoners but so what, let's completely forget about trying to acquire food and only focus on other things."
Indeed, they were low on food and people starved because of that, but it's hard to think of a war around that period where it did not happen. It happened outside of actual war to those who were enslaved to the USSR in the Holodomor and elsewhere.
In agricultural powerhouses like the USA, that obviously wasn't going to be an issue. The USA sent food and supplies to the "Allies" before formally entering the war.
As for disease: nobody wants that around at all because it can spread. If the Germans had cheap, mass-produced & widely available typhus vaccines they would have mass vaccinated the prisoners for certain, even those death row inmates who were sent to Auschwitz to do months of labor prior to their execution.
Typhus broke out in Auschwitz in summer 1942, and the Germans quickly responded in order to halt the spread. Commandant Hoess ordered a full quarantine (vollständige Lagersperre) of the camp in July 1942. Zyklon-B was brought in, SS men were prohibited from eating certain foods, various vaccinations were mandated, movement restrictions were imposed, special “louse inspection” units organized. The measures proved inadequate and in early December 1942, camp physician Dr. Wirths attended a meeting for the specific purpose which included government officials, military officers, and important civilian officials. Immediate action was demanded.
The spread of disease was a risk taken very seriously in the camps, period. There was no "Jews in our important labor camp dying of disease? so what!" going on during this time; not simply because it would just result in the disease spreading also to the Germans working there, and the civilians in nearby cities and towns. And obviously the labor camps were vital to the war effort.
Further, the epidemic of typhus at Auschwitz was actually blamed on civilian laborers brought in locally to work in the camp for pay (yes, people some chose to work at Auschwitz for pay). If that is the case (it's impossible to know) then it was not a problem of disinfection for new inmate arrivals. As a result of the outbreak (the crowded conditions made it spread rapidly), the camp was isolated to prevent further the encroachment of the disease into the nearby population.
Who is to blame? The camp commandant? Hoess wasn’t omnipotent. The medical technology back then was primitive by our standards. Hoess didn’t decide which prisoners were coming to the camp and who was leaving. Someone else higher up made those decisions and the workers employed at the camps were just doing their job.
When the disease began spreading, were the Auschwitz workers supposed to take up arms for a coup attempt against Berlin so that they could get the resources needed to do whatever it is OP thinks they were morally obligated to? How much money needed to be spent on preventing the spread of disease among Jewish prisoners for OP to say "Well, they made a good enough effort for me to say it was just an unfortunate war-time situation similar to countless others" - I wonder?
On 28 October 1942, the head of the central construction management of the Waffen-SS and Police Auschwitz, SS-Hauptsturmführer Bischoff, drew up and signed some site plans with cost estimates for Auschwitz. The total cost was 13.76 billion Reichsmarks, which would translate to over $100 million USD in the present day. The plan included installations, improvement in the water supply and drainage system, deinfestation facilities, all sorts of things.
The head of the SS camp administration office sent a 28 December 1942 directive to Auschwitz and the other concentration camps. It sharply criticized the high death rate of inmates due to disease, and ordered that:
"camp physicians must use all means at their disposal to significantly reduce the death rate in the various camps."
Furthermore, it ordered:
"The camp doctors must supervise more often than in the past the nutrition of the prisoners and, in cooperation with the administration, submit improvement recommendations to the camp commandants . . . The camp doctors are to see to it that the working conditions at the various labor places are improved as much as possible."
Finally, the directive stressed that:
"the Reichsfhrer SS [Heinrich Himmler] has ordered that the death rate absolutely must be reduced."
(Nuremberg document PS-2171, Annex 2. NC&A red series, Vol. 4, pp. 833-834)