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Concentration Camps Essay

2765 words - 12 pages

Concentration Camps Definition: A concentration camp is a place where selected groups of people are imprisoned. There is a saying by a Russian writer about a prisoner going into a concentration camp. "The official asked the prisoner: "How long are you here for?" Prisoner "25 years." Official: "What did you do?" Prisoner: "Nothing" Official: "That's a lie, for nothing, you get ten years." (Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia)" The people who are kept in these concentration camps are not kept in there because they were lawfully convicted of some criminal crimes. Most of the time they are usually imprisoned just for being a specific ethnic or religious groups. ...view middle of the document...

Most concentration camps contained huts, tents, or cabins and are surrounded by watch towers and barbed wire. There are also lots of different names for these camps like extermination camps, corrective labor camps, relocation centers, forced labor camps, and reception centers.Nazi Camps: In January of 1933 when the Nazi party took over in Germany, concentration camps were almost immediately organized and built to put opponents of the Nazi party in them. The Gestapo (political police) imposed the so-called "protective custody," on all Jews, Communists, Socialists, and Jehovah's Witnesses. The Nazis would put the Jews and others in the camps saying that they were not safe outside of the camps from the gangs and mobs that didn't like them. So, this was their excuse to put the Jews and others in the concentration camps. The Kripo (criminal police) then proclaimed "preventive arrest" that put professional criminals, Gypsies, homosexuals, and prostitutes in the camps saying that they were being put in the camps so they couldn't commit any further crimes.By 1939 the main six camps were Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Flossenburg, and Ravenbruck. The SS (protective units) that ran the camps ran them very brutally.When World War II broke out in 1939 the need for increased labor was needed so they made more concentration camps and put in more prisoners. They needed more camps that way they could get more guns and ammunition to the soldiers and put more people into the camps to make the guns and ammunition. Some of the new important camps are Auschwitz-Birrkenau, Natzweiler, Stutthof, Hinzert, and Dora. Millions of people from the countries that Germany conquered went into these camps. Some of these people were Jews, Partisans, Soviet prisoners of war, and foreign laborers. When they caught you they would be put inside a box cart used for shipping cows on a freight train. They would pack so many people into these carts that they were not able to move. This would literally drive people crazy during the summer when it is real hot and humid. During the winter with the little light clothes that they were given they would freeze to death. They were also not given any food over the long trip or sanitary facilities.After getting off the train the guards would take the prisoners' luggage and they would tell the prisoners that they would get their belongings back later. After that they would have to go through a selection process to see if they were healthy enough to work, if they weren't healthy enough they would send them into a gas chamber, or shoot them right on the spot. If you made it through the selection you would get a haircut and a bath. Before you got the bath they would make you strip and crowd into the bathhouse; they would either bathe you with ice cold water or boiling hot water. Then no matter what time of year it was they forced into the yard naked. Now they would be registered and get a number tattooed on their...

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