Monowitz is the German spelling of the Polish town Monowice located some 5 km east of the city of Auschwitz. East of that town, the German chemical trust I.G. Farbenindustrie constructed a large chemical plant starting in 1940, which was meant to convert the regional coal into liquified chemicals.

Monowitz, I.G. Farbenindustrie chemical plant
The I.G. Farbenindustrie chemical plant in Auschwitz-Monowitz in winter 1944/45.

The nearby Auschwitz Camp was to provide some of its inmates as slave laborers for the construction and eventual operation of this chemical factory. To this end, the SS authorities established a labor camp right next to the chemical plant, which was also called Auschwitz-Monowitz. On 22 November 1943, all satellite camps near Auschwitz were separated from the Auschwitz Main Camp and became an independent concentration camp called Auschwitz III, with the headquarters at the Monowitz Camp. On 25 November 1944, the name was changed to Monowitz Concentration Camp.

The camp’s living conditions were harsh, and so were the conditions on the I.G. Farben construction site. Many inmates got sick, and physical abuse by I.G. Farben personnel was widespread. Inmates who became unfit for work were transferred to Birkenau, which increasingly became the holding camp for inmates unfit for work. One of the camp physicians of the Monowitz Camp, Horst Fischer, was eventually tried during a show trial in communist East Germany for his role in transferring inmates from Monowitz to Birkenau. The orthodoxy claims falsely that these transferred inmates were gassed at Birkenau, when in fact Birkenau was being converted into a huge hospital camp. The Italian chemist Primo Levi described after the war the sophisticated healthcare system in place at the Monowitz Camp, of which Horst Fischer was a part.

The Monowitz Camp itself came into the focus of Holocaust claims only once, during the testimony of former SS judge Konrad Morgen, who erroneously claimed that mass exterminations of Jews were not carried out at the Auschwitz Camp but rather in “a separate extermination camp near Auschwitz, called ‘Monowitz.’” No such claims have ever been made before this or afterwards by anyone.

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