The "Work Camp for Russian POWs" (Russisches Kriegsgefangenen Arbeitslager) was located in specially isolated and fenced-off blocks [of Auschwitz] from October 7, 1941 to March 1, 1942.
Approximately 10,000 men were registered here. The POWs died on a mass scale because of the particularly brutal way they were treated by the SS. They were also killed withZyklon B and shot on the orders of a special Gestapo commission.
In the course of five months, 9,000 of them died. The fewer than 1,000 Soviet POWs remaining alive in March 1942 were transferred to the Birkenau camp, which was then under construction.
Source: The State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Reprinted with permission.