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1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 343 
SS chief Heinrich Himmler wipes sweat from his forehead during an inspection of Auschwitz III, or Monowitz-Buna. The camp was named after the village of Monowice and the word for synthetic rubber, Buna, which the I.G. Farben company sought to produce by using thousands of concentration-camp workers. Accompanying Himmler was Bauleiter (chief engineer) Faust of I.G. Farben. Due in part to Allied air attacks, no synthetic rubber was ever produced at Monowitz-Buna.
Photo: Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Inmates work in a chemical factory at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Manufacturers at the site utilized slave labor to staff their enterprises. Inmates greatly coveted positions of skilled labor. Italian author and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi attributed his survival to being a trained chemist. Levi's skills relieved him of the torturous heavy labor that consumed so many lives.
Photo: Bundesarchiv / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Business of Killing

The concentration and death camps provided German industry with new opportunities for profit. The Nazi plan to build the camps, and especially to expand Auschwitz, led to huge building contracts. Once built, the camps provided a cheap source of labor for mining, production of synthetic fuels, and other enterprises.

The camp at Jawiszowice in southern Poland supplied workers for the coal mines of the Hermann Göring Works. In Austria, Mauthausen inmates labored in hellish conditions to mine granite for the Reich's ambitious building projects. Even the inmates' bodies furthered German industry. Women's hair from Auschwitz, Majdanek, and other camps was sent to various manufacturing firms to be turned into felt or spun into thread to make socks for submarine crews. The workers pictured toiled at Auschwitz.

I.G. Farben, a massive chemical conglomerate, funded the construction of Monowitz-Buna to produce synthetic rubber, with some 10,000 prisoners from Auschwitz designated for the building project. Experiments with the lethal chemical Zyklon B resulted in the decision to build vast new gas chambers, requiring new furnaces to incinerate the bodies. J. A. Topf and Sons built furnaces for several camps. Meanwhile, the DEGESCH Company received the contract to supply the extermination camps with Zyklon B. Mass killing was definitely good for business.
Photo: Bundesarchiv

 Late July 1942: Germany decides not to disclose the whereabouts of Dutch deportees, saying only that they had been sent to "an unknown destination...somewhere in the East"--that is, to the Auschwitz extermination camp.
 August 1942: Throughout Europe, more than 400,000 Jews are murdered.
 August 1942: In Poland, Swedish diplomat Baron Göran von Otter is told by SS Obersturmführer Kurt Gerstein of Nazi killings of Jews in Poland.
 August 1942: Deportations of Jews from France and Holland continue.
 August 1942: 5500 Jews are deported from Zagreb, Croatia, to Auschwitz, which is suffering a virulent epidemic of typhus.
 August 1942: 76,000 Jews from the Eastern Galicia region of Poland are deported to Belzec. Throughout the month 150,000 Jews are murdered there.
 August 1942: In the Volhynia region of Poland, 87,000 Jews are killed.
1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 343 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.