The State Museum Of Auschwitz-Birkenau & Remember.Org Present

Auschwitz Block 11 Basement Cell

View an Auschwitz Block 11 Basement Cell and take the tour with videos below – the top 2 are the Original Auschwitz Virtual Tour. Below those are the same 2 videos with captions and art.

At the bottom of the page are text descriptions of what you see, with details and historical information and much more.

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Auschwitz Block 11 Basement Cell
The Camp Terror System: Block 11 Basement Containing Cells

Block 11 was strictly isolated from the rest of the camp.

Here were detainment, starvation, suffocation, and stand-up cells.

For a painting that brings this to life see:

Watercolor: Wladyslaw Siwek

Reproduction courtesy of Auschwitz Museum Archive, 1980

“Trials of [the poison gas, hydrogen cyanide] for killing people were begun in the summer of 1941, in the basement of Block 11 (at the time number 13).

An unknown number of Soviet POWs were killed in one of the windowless basement chambers.

Here is Broad’s recollection of the event:

‘One day corpses of Russian POWs were dragged out of a dark cell.

As they lay in the yard, they looked strangely bloated and had a bluish tinge, though they were relatively fresh.

Several older prisoners who had been through World War I remembered seeing corpses like that.

Suddenly they understood… gas!…’ “*

*Piper, F. (2000). Mass Murder. Auschwitz 1940-1945. Oswiecim: Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. PP.117-118.

All photos and videos are Copyright Alan Jacobs and

Auschwitz Block 11 Standing Cells

In a standup cell, as many as three prisoners were made to crawl in through a small door on the floor, and then stand in a very small space making it impossible to sit.

As it is, all of the cells were reconstructed after the war.

As you scroll you will see successive levels of brick removed to show the interiors of these punishment cells.

It was Commandant Liebehenschel (Dec 1943 to May 1944) who had them dismantled after taking over from Commandant Hoess (May 1940 to Nov 1943, returning May 1944 to January 1945)!

He also removed the box for informers, placed on one of the buildings in Auschwitz I camp). They were 90cm x 90cm, just about 3x3ft.

Prisoners were made to crawl in through small doors on the floor.

Once inside it was impossible to sit down.

Sometimes 4-5 people were placed in here overnight with no toilet facilities.

Moreover they had to work in daytime like anyone else, only to return back after the evening roll call.

When the camp Gestapo was trying to extract information prisoners were made to stay longer.

All photos and videos are Copyright Alan Jacobs and

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