Slaughterhouse and Dairy
The slaughterhouse and the dairy building was located next to Auschwitz I (just in front of the crematorium I and the camp workshops).
There were four buildings which were erected before the start of the war. They were taken over by the Deutsche Lebensmittel GmbH Company on 1st September 1942. The company was owned by the SS. The slaughterhouse became the biggest plant owned by that company in autumn 1944.
The heads of the slaughterhouse was SS-Unterscharführer Erich Loos and SS-Unterscharführer Franz Janik. SS-Oberscharführer Georg Oester, followed by SS-Unterscharführer Friedrich Voss were in charge of the dairy.
The renovation and the expansion of the building started as soon as autumn 1940 and finished in autumn 1943.
Due to the hunger and bad conditions in the camp, the work in the slaughterhouse and the dairy was considered good. The prisoners were able to organise additional food. Because of this, all prisoners who were assigned to work here had to be searched by the SS often. There were also more SS guards on the perimeter of the slaughterhouse. 30 to 120 prisoners were working there, and most of them were Poles. Despite of regular searches and the high number of guards, many prisoners decided to smuggle the meat inside the camp, thus helping their fellow prisoners.
The meat and dairy were produced for the SS-men, their families, and the prisoners themselves. Lots were sent to Germany to be given to both civilians and the soldiers.
There was a significant difference in the quality of products made in the slaughterhouse. Those for the SS-men and their families were much better than those for the prisoners. This was confirmed in May 1944, when the samples of the meat and dairy were sent to be tested in the SS and Police Hygiene Institute in Rajsko.
On 22nd November 1940 the very first execution in the history of KL Auschwitz took place in the gravel pits by the slaughterhouse. However, the civilians would be executed there before that day (for example, 40 men in the summer of 1940).
As of today (September 2017) the slaughterhouse and the dairy have not been commemorated. None of the executions that took place are mentioned. The Auschwitz Memorial erected a parking for its workers there. There are plans to build the new tourist centre for visitors in the perimeter of the former slaughterhouse. Unfortunately, the plans are seemingly not dictated by the will of commemorating the history of the area, but by the fact of the growing number of visitors and the logistics problems the Memorial is facing.
Information about sources we used while researching the industrial zones of Auschwitz you can find here.