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Russian POWs were forced to.
The first Soviet prisoners of war were sent to Auschwitz in July and August 1941. In the beginning of September 1941, about 600 prisoners of war were brought to Auschwitz and murdered along with 250 sick Polish prisoners, in the basement of block 11 using Zyklon B. It was the first case of mass killing of people using gas at Auschwitz. In October 1941, in a secluded part of Auschwitz I, the SS authorities imprisoned about 10,000 prisoners.
The main task of the prisoners was the construction of a new camp on the fields of the displaced village of Brzezinka (Birkenau). A high mortality rate prevailed among the prisoners - each day on average, 60 men were killed - caused by executions, beatings, harassment, overwork, hunger and diseases. In March 1942, the 600 surviving prisoners were transferred to the newly created camp Birkenau (BIb). In the fall, most of them were deported to camps in the Interior of the Reich.