While the immediately killer in concentration camps is thought to be gas chambers, the entire prison was built with the intent to kill. From the very beginning, Auschwitz was supposed to be relatively small in size. Yet what started as one camp quickly expanded into 3 main camps and 40 sub-camps.
The architecture of the camp was never exactly stagnant and even until the end remained “unfinished”. During the beginning of construction, the Soviet POWs were the main workers. Later on, though, they were replaced by Polish and Jewish prisoners. These same workers were used for the construction of factories, the living quarters, and even the buildings that later became gas chambers. In using the prisoners for the construction of their own punishment, it is apparent that the Germans were playing a manipulative mind game.
More than that, the land that they chose to build on had its own issues. Instead of a more suitable construction site, they picked a wet, swampy area. Not only did this affect the prisoners during the building, causing them to stand in waist deep water, it was also a troubling issue when the construction was “finished”. The poor terrain and lack of drainage in the huts left inhabitable conditions for the prisoners.
As time went on, the numbers in the camp grew, which means more people were forced into each hut. Conditions worsened and methods of killing increased. The entire structure of the camp was designed to be a killing machine, from the blueprints, to the working conditions, to the mental and physical effect of the living situation. Auschwitz was structured in a way that slowly deteriorated the prisoners will to live and tore them apart.
The work that went into the site is quite incredible and played a large roll on the experience of Auschwitz.