History & Culture
Concentration Camp :The Mankind Greatest Horror
Category : History & Culture
Country : Germany

The term concentration camp means a camp in which people were detained or confined under bad conditions without any legal terms of imprisonment. Sometimes, these camps were also called internment camp, where large number of people were sent to prison without any trial. The first concentration camp in Germany was established soon after Hitler’s appointment as chancellor in January 1933. From 1933 to 1945 in Germany, concentration camps were an important feature to keep detainees of war, gay people, Jews and different Germans who revolted Hitler in the World War 2. The first concentration camp of United States was created in 1838. Concentration camps had been used by the United States against Native Americans and by the British in the Second Boer War.The first concentration camps in Germany was established by Hitler & appointed as chancellor in January 1933.

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Concentration Camps in Poland

 Auschwitz Concentration Camp (1940-1945):

Auschwitz Concentration Camp was built by the Nazis in Poland. Auschwitz was one of the biggest and modernized concentration camps, which was famous for mass killing center  ever created. It was Auschwitz which became a popular symbol of death in those time by killing 1.1 million people, mainly Jews. On April 27, 1940, Heinrich Himmler ordered to build a new camp near Oswiecim, Poland (about 37 miles west of Krakow). By the time of freedom, Auschwitz had grown by including three large camps and 45 sub-camps in nearby area. At the entrance of Auschwitz, there was famous sign that stated “Arbeit Macht Frei”. Auschwitz II was also created in early of 1942. Birkenau was built 1.9 miles far away from Auschwitz I and was the real killing center of the Auschwitz death camp. In Birkenau, the dead selections were carried out on the line near the stylish and invisible gas chambers. Birkenau, much big comparing to Auschwitz, where the most prisoners were being kept including the areas for women and Gypsies. Auschwitz III was built last as “housing” for the forced laborers at the Buna synthetic rubber factory in Monowitz. There were also 45 other sub-camps where prisoners were kept for forced labor. The list of others Camps were Belzec, Chelmno ,Gross Rosen, Majdanek, Plaszow, Sobibor, Treblinka.

Concentration camp in Austria:

1) Accumulatoren – Fabrik AFA
2) Ebensee Concentration Camp
3) KZ-Nebenlager Bretstein
4) Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp
5) Steyr- Munichholz Subcamp

Biskupia_Gorka_executions_-_14_-_Barkmann,_Paradies,_Becker,_Klaff,_Steinhoff_(left_to_right)

Interesting Facts:

• These camps were also called extermination camps and mostly situated on outskirts of Germany like Poland, Austria.
• These camps were used by German officers to kill large number of Jews and prisoners basically to clean the earth from the Jewish population. Mass killing was done without any trial or any judiciary procedure.
• Some of these camps had gas chambers in which there would be water shower that would let out gas for mass murder and extermination. Then these bodies were thrown into furnaces.
• After the end of the World War 2 many such camps were discovered by Soviet Army, British forces and American soldiers. The inhuman treatment and atrocities was done in these camps.
• Most of these were burned down by the German army but few survived and still exists as museum to remind us of those times. There were 1200 such camps as officially announced but the unofficial figure was 15000 such camps existed during those times.
• Starvation, disease, prisoners were made to work in nearby factories. Women were raped till death, there were heaps of dead bodies lying unattended.
• A total of 60 million people were believed to have died in World War 2. That was 2.5% of the population, out of it an estimated 6 million Jewish died due to the holocaust or the anti semitic wave of Hitler. This figure is equivalent to the population of Ahmedabad city.

Interested to know more about the History of Germany ?

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