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Auschwitz-Birkenau: Auschwitz Architectural Plans Discovered

(November 10, 2008)

On Saturday, November 8, 2008, one day before the seventieth anniversary of Kristallnacht, the German newspaper, Bild, published an article stating that architectural blueprints of the Auschwitz concentration camp had been discovered in an apartment in Berlin.

In the apartment were found twenty-eight detailed sketches of the Auschwitz concentration camp that display scaled depictions of the camp's railroad tracks, barracks and clearly labeled shower room, gas chambers and crematorium.

The plans are believed to have been drawn between 1941 and 1943 - after the establishment of the camp. They are not original construction plans but, rather, plans for an expansion of the camp. Auschwitz was largely expanded over the course of the year 1941. Historians believe that the extermination chambers were built after the initial erection of Auschwitz and these plans would prove that theory.

Until now, historians have believed that the official start of the Nazi genocide campaign was January 20, 1942 when Nazi officials met at the Wannsee resort outside of Berlin and decided on the Final Solution. An earlier dating on one of the sketches, however, may change the accepted historical timeline. The organized genocide may have begun a year before the currently accepted start date. After these blueprints are proven as legitimate, Holocaust historians will need to reassess the information about the genocide that they previously took to be fact.

The article in the German Bild maintained that this important piece of evidence indicating Nazi plans for extermination could be the final proof against those who deny the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Sources: Jerusalem Post (November 8, 2008); Guardian (November 10, 2008)