Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State

Episode 4

Corruption

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Aired Unknown Feb 01, 2005 on BBC Two
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Corruption
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By 1943, 45 sub-camps are dotted around the Auschwitz region, most providing slave labour for armaments factories and other industrial concerns. At Auschwitz-Birkenau, the SS confiscate clothes and valuables from Jews arriving to be gassed, which provide another source of income. 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 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, Hoss 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. Those interviewed in Corruption include a woman who tells how Mengele carried out horrifying experiments on her; a member of the SS garrison who fondly recalls the friendships he made at the camp; a prisoner who was one of the 50 survivors of a daring escape bid from the Sobibor death camp; a Slovak Jewess who still remembers her SS lover; and a Polish political prisoner who had personal access to the Auschwitz brothel.moreless

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