Nazi concentration camps

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Nazi concentration camps
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U.S. Army soldiers show the German civilians of Weimar the corpses found in Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps (German : Konzentrationslager, KZ or KL) throughout the territories it controlled before and during the Second World War. The first Nazi camps were erected in Germany in March 1933 immediately after Hitler became Chancellor and his Nazi Party was given control of the police by Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick and Prussian Acting Interior Minister Hermann Göring. [2] Used to hold and torture political opponents and union organizers, the camps initially held around 45,000 prisoners. [3] In 1933–1939, before the onset of war, most prisoners consisted of German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Roma, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and persons accused of 'asocial' or socially 'deviant' behavior by the Germans. [4]

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

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Heinrich Himmler's Schutzstaffel (SS) took full control of the police and the concentration camps throughout Germany in 1934–35. [5] The role of the camps expanded to hold so-called "undesirables" such as Jews, Romanis/Sintis, Serbs, Soviet POWs, Poles, disabled people, and clergymen. [6] [7] [8] [9] The number of people in the camps, which had fallen to 7,500, grew again to 21,000 by the start of World War II [10] and peaked at 715,000 in January 1945. [11]

Heinrich Himmler High Nazi Germany official, head of the SS

Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel, and a leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) of Germany. Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and a main architect of the Holocaust.

<i>Schutzstaffel</i> Major paramilitary organization of Nazi Germany

The Schutzstaffel was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in Nazi Germany, and later throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II. It began with a small guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz made up of NSDAP volunteers to provide security for party meetings in Munich. In 1925, Heinrich Himmler joined the unit, which had by then been reformed and given its final name. Under his direction (1929–45) it grew from a small paramilitary formation to one of the most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany. From 1929 until the regime's collapse in 1945, the SS was the foremost agency of security, surveillance, and terror within Germany and German-occupied Europe.

Serbs Ethnic group

The Serbs are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the nation state of Serbia, as well as the disputed territory of Kosovo, and the neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro. They form significant minorities in North Macedonia and Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, and outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia.

Beginning in 1934 the concentration camps were administered by the Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI), which in 1942 was merged into SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt , and they were guarded by SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV).

Concentration Camps Inspectorate

The Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI) or in German, IKL was the central SS administrative and managerial authority for the concentration camps of the Third Reich. Created by Theodor Eicke, it was originally known as the "General Inspection of the Enhanced SS-Totenkopfstandarten", after Eicke's position in the SS. It was later integrated into the SS Main Economic and Administrative Office as "Amt D".

<i>SS-Totenkopfverbände</i> SS organization responsible for administering the Nazi concentration camps for the Third Reich

SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV), literally translated as Death's Head Units, was the SS organization responsible for administering the Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps for Nazi Germany, among similar duties. While the Totenkopf (skull) was the universal cap badge of the SS, the SS-TV also wore the Death's Head insignia on the right collar tab to distinguish itself from other Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) formations.

Holocaust scholars draw a distinction between concentration camps (described in this article) and extermination camps, which were established by Nazi Germany for the industrial-scale mass murder of Jews in the ghettos by way of gas chambers.

Extermination camp Nazi death camps established during World War II to primarily murder Jews

Nazi Germany built extermination camps during the Holocaust in World War II, to systematically murder millions of Jews. Others were murdered at the death camps as well, including Poles, Soviet POWs, and Roma. The victims of death camps were primarily killed by gassing, either in permanent installations constructed for this specific purpose, or by means of gas vans. Some Nazi camps, such as Auschwitz and Majdanek, served a dual purpose before the end of the war in 1945: extermination by poison gas, but also through extreme work under starvation conditions.

Mass murder act of murdering a large number of people

Mass murder is the act of murdering a number of people, typically simultaneously or over a relatively short period of time and in close geographic proximity. The FBI defines mass murder as murdering four or more people during an event with no "cooling-off period" between the murders. A mass murder typically occurs in a single location where one or more people kill several others.

A gas chamber is an apparatus for killing humans or other animals with gas, consisting of a sealed chamber into which a poisonous or asphyxiant gas is introduced. The most commonly used poisonous agent is hydrogen cyanide; carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide have also been used. Gas chambers were used as a method of execution for condemned prisoners in the United States beginning in the 1920s and continue to be a legal execution method in three states. During the Holocaust, large-scale gas chambers designed for mass killing were used by Nazi Germany as part of their genocide program. The use of gas chambers in North Korea has also been reported.

Pre-war camps

The Dachau concentration camp was created for the purpose of holding political opponents.Near Christmas of 1933, roughly 600 of the inmates were released as part of a pardoning action. The picture above depicts a speech by camp commander Theodor Eicke to prisoners who were about to be released. Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R96361, Dachau, Konzentrationslager.jpg
The Dachau concentration camp was created for the purpose of holding political opponents.Near Christmas of 1933, roughly 600 of the inmates were released as part of a pardoning action. The picture above depicts a speech by camp commander Theodor Eicke to prisoners who were about to be released.

Use of the word "concentration" came from the idea of confining people in one place because they belong to a group that is considered undesirable in some way. The term itself originated in 1897 when the "reconcentration camps" were set up in Cuba by General Valeriano Weyler. In the past, the U.S. government had used concentration camps against Native Americans and the British had also used them during the Second Boer War. Between 1904 and 1908, the Schutztruppe of the Imperial German Army operated concentration camps in German South-West Africa (now Namibia) as part of its genocide of the Herero and Namaqua peoples. The Shark Island Concentration Camp in Lüderitz was the largest camp and the one with the harshest conditions.

Cuba Country in the Caribbean

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometers (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometers (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

Valeriano Weyler Spanish duke

Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau, 1st Duke of Rubí, 1st Marquess of Tenerife was a Spanish general and colonial administrator who served as the Governor-General of the Philippines and Cuba.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii and territories of the United States. More than 570 federally recognized tribes live within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaskan Natives, while "Native Americans" are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. The US Census does not include Native Hawaiians or Chamorro, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

When the Nazis came to power in Germany, they quickly moved to suppress all real and potential opposition. The general public was intimidated by the arbitrary psychological terror that was used by the special courts ( Sondergerichte ). [12] Especially during the first years of their existence when these courts "had a strong deterrent effect" against any form of political protest. [13]

The first camp in Germany, Dachau, was founded in March 1933. [14] The press announcement said that "the first concentration camp is to be opened in Dachau with an accommodation for 5,000 people. All Communists and – where necessary – Reichsbanner and Social Democratic functionaries who endanger state security are to be concentrated there, as in the long run it is not possible to keep individual functionaries in the state prisons without overburdening these prisons." [14] Dachau was the first regular concentration camp established by the German coalition government of the Nazi Party and the Nationalist People's Party (dissolved on 6 July 1933). Heinrich Himmler, then Chief of Police of Munich, officially described the camp as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners." [14]

Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler inspecting Dachau concentration camp on 8 May 1936. Bundesarchiv Bild 152-11-12, Dachau, Konzentrationslager, Besuch Himmlers.jpg
Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler inspecting Dachau concentration camp on 8 May 1936.

On 26 June 1933, Himmler appointed Theodor Eicke commandant of Dachau, who in 1934 was also appointed the first Inspector of Concentration Camps (CCI). In addition, the remaining SA-run camps were taken over by the SS. [15] [16] [17] Dachau served as both a prototype and a model for the other Nazi concentration camps. Almost every community in Germany had members who were taken there. The newspapers continuously reported on "the removal of the enemies of the Reich to concentration camps" making the general population more aware of their presence. There were jingles warning as early as 1935: "Dear God, make me dumb, that I may not come to Dachau." [18]

Between 1933 and the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945, more than 3.5 million Germans were forced to spend time in concentration camps and prisons for political reasons, [19] [20] [21] and approximately 77,000 Germans were executed for one or another form of resistance by Special Courts, courts-martial, and the civil justice system. Many of these Germans had served in government, the military, or in civil positions, which enabled them to engage in subversion and conspiracy against the Nazis. [12]

As a result of the Holocaust, the term "concentration camp" carries many of the connotations of "extermination camp" and is sometimes used synonymously. Due to these ominous connotations, the term "concentration camp", originally itself a euphemism, has been replaced by newer terms such as internment camp, resettlement camp, detention facility, etc., regardless of the actual circumstances of the camp, which can vary a great deal.

World War II

Jewish prisoners are issued food on a building site at Salaspils concentration camp, Latvia, in 1941.(Nazi propaganda photo) Bundesarchiv Bild 101III-Duerr-053-29, Lettland, KZ Salaspils, Essensausgabe.jpg
Jewish prisoners are issued food on a building site at Salaspils concentration camp, Latvia, in 1941.(Nazi propaganda photo)

After September 1939, with the beginning of the Second World War, concentration camps became places where millions of ordinary people were enslaved as part of the war effort, often starved, tortured and killed. [22] During the war, new Nazi concentration camps for "undesirables" spread throughout the continent. According to statistics by the German Ministry of Justice, about 1,200 camps and subcamps were run in countries occupied by Nazi Germany, [23] while the Jewish Virtual Library estimates that the number of Nazi camps was closer to 15,000 in all of occupied Europe [24] [25] and that many of these camps were run for a limited amount of time before they were closed. [24] Camps were being created near the centers of dense populations, often focusing on areas with large communities of Jews, Polish intelligentsia, Communists or Romani. Since millions of Jews lived in pre-war Poland, most camps were located in the area of the General Government in occupied Poland, for logistical reasons. The location also allowed the Nazis to quickly remove the German Jews from within Germany proper.

By 1940, the CCI came under the control of the Verwaltung und Wirtschaftshauptamt Hauptamt (VuWHA; Administration and Business office) which was set up under Oswald Pohl. [26] Then in 1942, the CCI became Amt D (Office D) of the consolidated main office known as the SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt (SS Economic and Administrative Department; WVHA) under Pohl. [26] In 1942, the SS built a network of extermination camps to systematically kill millions of prisoners by gassing. The extermination camps (Vernichtungslager) and death camps (Todeslager) were camps whose primary function was genocide. The Nazis themselves distinguished the concentration camps from the extermination camps. [27] [28] The British intelligence service had information about the concentration camps, and in 1942 Jan Karski delivered a thorough eyewitness account to the government.

Internees

The two largest groups of prisoners in the camps, both numbering in the millions, were the Polish Jews and the Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) held without trial or judicial process. There were also large numbers of Romani people, ethnic Poles, Serbs, political prisoners, homosexuals, people with disabilities, Jehovah's Witnesses, clergymen , Eastern European intellectuals and others (including common criminals, as the Nazis declared). In addition, a small number of Western Allied aviators were sent to concentration camps as punishment for spying. [29] Western Allied POWs who were Jews, or who were suspected of being Jews by the Nazis, were usually sent to ordinary POW camps; however, a small number of them were sent to concentration camps because of antisemitic policies. [30]

American soldiers view a pile of corpses found in the newly liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945 Buchenwald Corpses 07511.jpg
American soldiers view a pile of corpses found in the newly liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945

Sometimes the concentration camps were used to hold important prisoners, such as the generals involved in the attempted assassination of Hitler; U-boat Captain-turned-Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller; and Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, who was interned at Flossenbürg on February 7, 1945, until he was hanged on April 9, shortly before the war's end.

In most camps, prisoners were forced to wear identifying overalls with colored badges according to their categorization: red triangles for Communists and other political prisoners, green triangles for common criminals, pink triangles for homosexual men, purple triangles for Jehovah's Witnesses, black triangles for asocials and the "work shy", yellow triangle for Jews, and later the brown triangle for Romanis. [31]

Treatment

Many of the prisoners died in the concentration camps due to deliberate maltreatment, disease, starvation, and overwork, or they were executed as unfit for labor. Prisoners were transported in inhumane conditions by rail freight cars, in which many died before reaching their final destination. The prisoners were confined in the boxcars for days or even weeks, with little or no food or water. Many died of dehydration in the intense heat of summer or froze to death in winter. Concentration camps also existed in Germany itself, and while they were not specifically designed for systematic extermination, many of their inmates perished because of harsh conditions or they were executed.

A mass grave inside Bergen-Belsen concentration camp Eines von 3 Massengrabern in Bergen-Belsen, so wie es von den Befreiern vorgefunden wurde, 1945.jpg
A mass grave inside Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

In the spring of 1941, the SS—along with doctors and officials of the T-4 Euthanasia Program—introduced the Action 14f13 programme meant for extermination of selected concentration camp prisoners. [32] The Inspectorate of the Concentration Camps categorized all files dealing with the death of prisoners as 14f, and those of prisoners sent to the T-4 gas chambers as 14f13. Under the language regulations of the SS, selected prisoners were designated for "special treatment (German : Sonderbehandlung) 14f13". Prisoners were officially selected based on their medical condition; namely, those permanently unfit for labor due to illness. Unofficially, racial and eugenic criteria were used: Jews, the handicapped, and those with criminal or antisocial records were selected. [33] :p.144 For Jewish prisoners there was not even the pretense of a medical examination: the arrest record was listed as a physician's "diagnosis". [33] :pp. 147–148 In early 1943, as the need for labor increased and the gas chambers at Auschwitz became operational, Heinrich Himmler ordered the end of Action 14f13. [33] :p.150

After 1942, many small subcamps were set up near factories to provide forced labor. IG Farben established a synthetic rubber plant in 1942 at Monowitz concentration camp (Auschwitz III); other camps were set up next to airplane factories, coal mines and rocket propellant plants. Conditions were brutal and prisoners were often sent to the gas chambers or killed on site if they did not work quickly enough.

On 31 July 1941 Hermann Göring gave written authorization to SS- Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, Chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), to prepare and submit a plan for a "total solution of the Jewish question" in territories under German control and to coordinate the participation of all involved government organisations. [34] The resulting Generalplan Ost (General Plan for the East) called for deporting the population of occupied Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union to Siberia, for use as slave labour or to be murdered. [35]

Commander-in-Chief of all Allied Forces, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, witnesses the corpses found at Ohrdruf concentration camp in May 1945. Gen Eisenhower at death camp report crop.jpg
Commander-in-Chief of all Allied Forces, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, witnesses the corpses found at Ohrdruf concentration camp in May 1945.

Towards the end of the war, the camps became sites for medical experiments. Eugenics experiments, freezing prisoners to determine how downed pilots were affected by exposure, and experimental and lethal medicines were all tried at various camps. Cold water immersion experiments at Dachau concentration camp were performed by Sigmund Rascher. [36]

Total number of camps and casualties

The lead editors of the Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, operating from 1933 to 1945. They estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites. [37]

Some of the most notorious slave labour camps included a network of subcamps. Gross-Rosen had 100 subcamps, [38] Auschwitz had 44 subcamps, [39] [39] [40] Stutthof had 40 sub-camps set up contingently. [41] Prisoners in these subcamps were dying from starvation, untreated disease and summary executions by the tens of thousands already since the beginning of war. [42]

Liberation

Starving prisoners in Ebensee concentration camp, part of the Mauthausen concentration camp liberated on May 5, 1945 Ebensee concentration camp prisoners 1945.jpg
Starving prisoners in Ebensee concentration camp, part of the Mauthausen concentration camp liberated on May 5, 1945

The camps were liberated by the Allied forces between 1944 and 1945. The first major camp, Majdanek, was discovered by the advancing Soviets on July 23, 1944. Auschwitz was liberated, also by the Soviets, on January 27, 1945; Buchenwald by the Americans on April 11; Bergen-Belsen by the British on April 15; Dachau by the Americans on April 29; Ravensbrück by the Soviets on the same day; Mauthausen by the Americans on May 5; and Theresienstadt by the Soviets on May 8. [43] Treblinka, Sobibór, and Bełżec were never liberated, but were destroyed by the Nazis in 1943. Colonel William W. Quinn of the U.S. 7th Army said of Dachau: "There our troops found sights, sounds, and stenches horrible beyond belief, cruelties so enormous as to be incomprehensible to the normal mind." [44] [45]

In most of the camps discovered by the Soviets, almost all the prisoners had already been removed, leaving only a few thousand alive—7,000 inmates were found in Auschwitz, including 180 children who had been experimented on by doctors. [46] Some 60,000 prisoners were discovered at Bergen-Belsen by the British 11th Armoured Division, [47] 13,000 corpses lay unburied, and another 10,000 died from typhus or malnutrition over the following weeks. [48] The British forced the remaining SS guards to gather up the corpses and place them in mass graves. [49]

The main German camps and extermination centers, 1943-44 MajorConcentrationCamps.png
The main German camps and extermination centers, 1943–44


A concentration camp victim identifies an SS guard in June 1945 Concentration camp SS.jpg
A concentration camp victim identifies an SS guard in June 1945

Types of camps

Historians have divided the Nazi concentration camps into a series of major categories based on purpose, administrative structure, and inmate-population profiles. [37] [50] [51] The system of camps preceded the onset of World War II by several years and evolved gradually.

  1. Early camps, usually without proper infrastructure, sprang up everywhere in Germany after Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933: rising "like mushrooms after the rain", Himmler recollected. [52] These early camps, also called "Wild camps" because some were set up with little supervision from higher authorities, were overseen by Nazi paramilitaries, by political-police forces, and sometimes by local police authorities. They utilized any lockable larger space, for example: engine rooms, brewery floors, storage facilities, cellars, etc. [53]
  2. State camps (e.g. Dachau, Oranienburg, Esterwegen) guarded by the SA; prototypes for the future SS concentration camps, with a total of 107,000 prisoners as early as 1935. [54]
  3. Hostage camps (Geisellager), known also as police prison camps (for example: Sint-Michielsgestel and Haaren) where hostages were held and later killed in reprisal actions. [55]
  4. Labor camps ( Arbeitslager ): concentration camps where interned captives had to perform hard physical labor under inhumane conditions and cruel treatment. Some of these were sub-camps, called "Outer Camps" (Aussenlager), built around a larger central camp (Stammlager), or served as "operational camps" established for a temporary need.
  5. POW camps (Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager / Stalag) a.k.a. Main Camps for Enlisted Prisoners of War: concentration camps where enlisted prisoners-of-war were held after capture. The inmates were usually assigned soon to nearby labor camps, ( Arbeitskommandos ), i.e. the Work Details. POW officers had their own camps (Offizierslager' / Oflag). Stalags were for Army prisoners, but specialized camps (Marinelager / Marlag ("Navy camps") and Marineinterniertenlager / Milag ("Merchant Marine Internment Camps")) existed for the other services. Kriegsgefangenen-Mannschafts-Stammlager Luftwaffe / Stalag Luft ("Air Forces Camps") were the only camps that detained both officers and non-commissioned personnel together.
  6. Camps for the so-called "rehabilitation and re-education of Poles" (Arbeitserziehungslager – "Work Instruction Camps"): camps where the intelligentsia of the ethnic Poles were held, and "re-educated" according to Nazi values as slaves.
  7. Collection and Transit camps: camps where inmates were collected (Sammellager) or temporarily held (Durchgangslager / Dulag) and then routed to main camps.
  8. Extermination camps (Vernichtungslager):these camps differed from the rest, since not all of them also functioned as concentration camps.

None of the categories are independent – one could classify many camps as a mixture of several of the above. All camps had some of the elements of an extermination camp, but systematic extermination of new arrivals by gas chambers only occurred in specialized camps. These were extermination camps, where all new-arrivals were simply killed—the "Aktion Reinhard" camps (Treblinka, Sobibór and Belzec), together with Chelmno. Two others (Auschwitz and Majdanek) operated as combined concentration- and extermination-camps. Others like Maly Trostenets were at times classified[ by whom? ] as "minor extermination camps". [51]

Post-war use

Though most Nazi concentration and extermination camps were destroyed after the war, some of them were turned into permanent memorials, and museums. In Communist Poland, some camps such as Majdanek, Jaworzno, Potulice and Zgoda were used by the Soviet NKVD to hold German prisoners of war, suspected or confirmed Nazis and Nazi collaborators, anti-Communists and other political prisoners, as well as civilian members of the German-speaking, Silesian and Ukrainian ethnic minorities. Currently, there are memorials to the victims of both Nazi and communist camps at Potulice; they have helped to enable a German-Polish discussion on historical perceptions of World War II. [56] In East Germany, the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen were used for similar purposes. Dachau concentration camp was used as a detention centre for the arrested Nazis. [57]

See also

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The Fürstengrube subcamp was organized in the summer of 1943 at the Fürstengrube hard coal mine in the town of Wesoła (Wessolla) near Myslowice (Myslowitz), approximately 30 kilometers (19 mi) from Auschwitz concentration camp. The mine, which IG Farbenindustrie AG acquired in February 1941, was to supply hard coal for the IG Farben factory being built in Auschwitz. Besides the old Fürstengrube mine, called the Altanlage, a new mine (Fürstengrube-Neuanlage) had been designed and construction had begun; it was to provide for greater coal output in the future. Coal production at the new mine was anticipated to start in late 1943, so construction was treated as very urgent; however, that plan proved to be unfeasible.

Mühldorf concentration camp complex

Mühldorf was a satellite system of the Dachau concentration camp located near Mühldorf in Bavaria, established in mid-1944 and run by the Schutzstaffel (SS). The camps were established to provide labor for an underground installation for the production of the Messerschmitt 262 (Me-262), a jet fighter designed to challenge Allied air superiority over Germany.

Kaufering concentration camp complex Subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp during World War II

Kaufering was a system of eleven subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp located around the town of Landsberg am Lech in Bavaria, which operated between 18 June 1944 and 27 April 1945. Previously, Nazi Germany had deported all Jews from the Reich, but having exhausted other sources of labor, Jews were deported to Kaufering to create three massive underground bunkers, Weingut II, Diana II, and Walnuss II, which would not be vulnerable to the Allied bombing which had devastated German aircraft factories. The bunkers were intended for the production of Messerschmitt Me 262 aircraft, but none were produced at the camps before the United States Army liberated the area.

Death marches (Holocaust) Forcible movements of prisoners between Nazi camps

Death marches refers to the forcible movements of prisoners of Nazi Germany between Nazi camps during World War II. They occurred at various points during the Holocaust, including 1939 in the Lublin province of Poland, in 1942 in Reichskommissariat Ukraine and across the General Government, and between Autumn 1944 and late April 1945 near the Soviet front, from the Nazi concentration camps and prisoner of war camps situated in the new Reichsgaue, to camps inside Germany proper, away from reach of the Allied forces. The purpose was to remove evidence of crimes against humanity committed inside the camps and to prevent the liberation of German-held prisoners of war.

The term subcamp in the context of Nazi Germany refers to those outlying detention centres (Haftstätten) that came under the command of a main concentration camp run by the SS within the Third Reich. It enables a distinction to be made between the main camps and the subcamps subordinated to them. Survival conditions in the subcamps were, in many cases, poorer for the prisoners than those in the main camps.

The SS-Baubrigaden were a type of subcamp of Nazi concentration camps that were first established in Autumn 1942. These units were usually made up of male non-Jewish prisoners—most were Poles or Soviets. Chances of survival were higher in these mobile units than the main camps they were attached to. The deployment of the Baubrigaden to major cities within the German Reich was the first time the German public became aware of the living conditions in concentration camps.

Luftwaffe guards at concentration camps Luftwaffe staffing of Nazi concentration camps

During World War II, the German Luftwaffe staffed dozens of concentration camps, and posted its soldiers as guards at many others. Camps created for the exploitation of forced labor for armaments production were often run by the branch of the Wehrmacht that used the products. The Wehrmacht also posted about 10,000 Wehrmacht soldiers to concentration camps because of a shortage of guards in mid-1944, including many from the Luftwaffe.

References

Notes

  1. Jewish Virtual Library (2014). "Main Concentration Camps". The Holocaust: Concentration Camps. AICE . Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  2. Evans 2003, pp. 344–345.
  3. Evans 2005, p. 81.
  4. Holocaust Encyclopedia, Nazi Camps. Introduction. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  5. Evans 2005, p. 85.
  6. Revisiting the National Socialist Legacy: Coming to Terms With Forced Labor, Expropriation, Compensation, and Restitution page 84 Oliver Rathkolb
  7. Gumkowski, Janusz; Leszczynski, Kazimierz; Robert, Edward (translator) (1961). Hitler's Plans for Eastern Europe. Poland Under Nazi Occupation (First ed.). Polonia Pub. House. p. 219. ASIN   B0006BXJZ6. Archived from the original (Paperback) on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2014.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help) at Wayback machine.
  8. Evans 2005, pp. 87–90.
  9. "No mercy (Ehrenhain Zeithain)". 2008-01-06. Archived from the original on 2008-01-06. Retrieved 2019-05-05.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. Evans 2005, p. 90.
  11. Evans 2008, p. 367.
  12. 1 2 Peter Hoffmann "The History of the German Resistance, 1933–1945" p. xiii
  13. Andrew Szanajda "The restoration of justice in postwar Hesse, 1945–1949" p. 25 "In practice, it signified intimidating the public through arbitrary psychological terror, operating like the courts of the Inquisition." "The Sondergerichte had a strong deterrent effect during the first years of their operation, since their rapid and severe sentencing was feared."
  14. 1 2 3 "Ein Konzentrationslager für politische Gefangene in der Nähe von Dachau". Münchner Neueste Nachrichten ("The Munich Latest News") (in German). The Holocaust History Project. 21 March 1933. Archived from the original on 6 May 2013.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. McNab 2009, p. 137.
  16. Kershaw 2008, pp. 308–314.
  17. Evans 2005, pp. 31–35, 39.
  18. Janowitz, Morris (September 1946). "German Reactions to Nazi Atrocities". The American Journal of Sociology. The University of Chicago Press. 52 (2): 141–146. doi:10.1086/219961. JSTOR   2770938.
  19. Henry Maitles Never Again!: A review of David Goldhagen, Hitlers Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust", further referenced to G. Almond, "The German Resistance Movement", Current History 10 (1946), pp. 409–527. It's actually about Daniel Goldhagen.
  20. David Clay, "Contending with Hitler: Varieties of German Resistance in the Third Reich", p. 122 (1994) ISBN   0-521-41459-8
  21. Otis C. Mitchell, "Hitler's Nazi state: the years of dictatorial rule, 1934–1945" (1988), p. 217
  22. Producer, By Wayne Drash CNN.com Senior. "Army to honor soldiers enslaved by Nazis - CNN.com". www.cnn.com.
  23. "List of concentration camps and their outposts" (in German). Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.
  24. 1 2 Concentration Camp Listing Sourced from Van Eck, Ludo Le livre des Camps. Belgium: Editions Kritak; and Gilbert, Martin Atlas of the Holocaust. New York: William Morrow 1993 ISBN   0-688-12364-3. In this on-line site are published the names of 149 camps and 814 subcamps, organized by country.
  25. "List of national socialist camps and detention sites 1933 – 1945". Germany – A Memorial. Bettina Sarnes, Holger Sarnes. So far 3600 sites are recorded on this website.
  26. 1 2 Weale 2012, p. 115.
  27. "Diary of Johann Paul Kremer". www.holocaust-history.org. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  28. Overy, Richard. Interrogations, pp. 356–57. Penguin 2002. ISBN   978-0-14-028454-6
  29. One of the best-known examples was the 168 British Commonwealth and US aviators held for a time at Buchenwald concentration camp. (See: luvnbdy/secondwar/fact_sheets/pow Veterans Affairs Canada, 2006, "Prisoners of War in the Second World War" and National Museum of the USAF, "Allied Victims of the Holocaust" Archived 2014-02-23 at the Wayback Machine .) Two different reasons are suggested for this: the Nazis wanted to make an example of the Terrorflieger ("terror-instilling aviators"), or they classified the downed fliers as spies because they were out of uniform, carrying false papers, or both when apprehended.
  30. See, for example, Joseph Robert White, 2006, "Flint Whitlock. Given Up for Dead: American GIs in the Nazi Concentration Camp at Berga" Archived 2007-06-11 at the Wayback Machine (book review)
  31. "Germany and the Camp System" PBS Radio website
  32. "Holocaust Timeline: The Camps". fcit.usf.edu. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  33. 1 2 3 Friedlander, Henry (1995). The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. p. 144.
  34. Browning 2004, p. 315.
  35. Snyder 2010, p. 416.
  36. Robert L. Berger, M.D. (1990). "Nazi Science – The Dachau Hypothermia Experiments". The New England Journal of Medicine. 322 (20): 1435–1440. doi:10.1056/NEJM199005173222006. PMID   2184357.
  37. 1 2 Lichtblau, Eric (March 1, 2013). "The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2014. When the research began in 2000, Dr. Megargee said he expected to find perhaps 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos, based on postwar estimates. But the numbers kept climbing – first to 11,500, then 20,000, then 30,000, and now 42,500.For the map of more than 1,000 locations, see: Map of Ghettos for Jews in Eastern Europe. The New York Times. Source: USHMM.
  38. "Historia KL Gross-Rosen". Gross-Rosen Museum. 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  39. 1 2 Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (2014), Podobozy KL Auschwitz (Subcamps of KL Auschwitz). Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  40. "Stutthof, the first Nazi concentration camp outside Germany". Jewishgen.org. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  41. "Stutthof (Sztutowo): Full Listing of Camps, Poland" (Introduction). Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2014-10-07. Source: "Atlas of the Holocaust" by Martin Gilbert (1982).
  42. Marek Przybyszewski, IBH Opracowania – Działdowo jako centrum administracyjne ziemi sasińskiej (Działdowo as centre of local administration). Internet Archive, 22 October 2010.
  43. Stone, Dan G.; Wood, Angela (2007). Holocaust: The events and their impact on real people, in conjunction with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. p. 144. ISBN   978-0-7566-2535-1.
  44. Holocaust: The events and their impact on real people, DK Publishing in conjunction with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, p. 146.
  45. A film with scenes from the liberation of Dachau, Buchenwald, Belsen and other Nazi concentration camps, supervised by the British Ministry of Information and the American Office of War Information, was begun but never finished or shown. It lay in archives until first aired on PBS's Frontline on May 7, 1985. The film, partly edited by Alfred Hitchcock, can be seen online at Memory of the Camps.
  46. Holocaust: The events and their impact on real people, DK Publishing in conjunction with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, p. 145.
  47. "The 11th Armoured Division (Great Britain)", United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  48. "Bergen-Belsen", United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  49. Wiesel, Elie. After the Darkness: Reflections on the Holocaust, Schocken Books, p. 41.
  50. Moshe Lifshitz, "Zionism". (ציונות), p. 304
  51. 1 2 William L. Shirer (2002). "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". p. 967. Random House
  52. Wachsmann 2015, p. 84.
  53. Wachsmann 2015, pp. 38–45.
  54. Wachsmann 2015, 88.
  55. Federal Archives (2010). "Police prison Camps and Police Prisons in the Occupied Territories" . Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  56. "One place, different memories". Geschichtswerkstatt Europa. 2010. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  57. "Ausstellung der KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau". Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site (in German). Archived from the original on 18 January 2012.

Bibliography

Further reading