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German History in Documents and Images
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Female Prisoners Doing Forced Labor in a Gravel Pit at Auschwitz (1942)
At Auschwitz, the Nazi regime achieved many of its main goals on a large scale: it isolated political opponents, systematically murdered enemies of the race, and exploited members of these groups for the regime’s economic benefit. Some forced laborers were used within the camp and in the SS's own firms and projects, others were "lent" to private enterprises. Tens of thousands of prisoners were thus deliberately worked to death. The motto over the gate to the main camp read "Work liberates" [Arbeit macht frei].