Holocaust And Concentration Camps Information
Perhaps in world history, the Holocaust is the most shameful act of humanity. The systematic termination of millions of Jews, gypsies, religious clergies, political activists, mentally ill people and physically disabled people in concentration camps is difficult to digest. However, it is a reality that all of us have to live with. The Holocaust and concentration camps are synonymous with one another. Here is some more information about this dark period in world history.
From the time Hitler came to power in 1933 and by the time the Second World War came to an end in 1945, around twenty thousand concentration camps were established by the Nazis across Europe. However, most of the camps were situated in Poland. These camps were divided into transit camps for housing the inmates temporarily until they were transported to another camp; forced labor camps and death camps.
The concentration camps started out as detention camps for anyone that disagreed with the Nazi ideology. The early inmates of these camps included communists, socialists, democrats, gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's witnesses, and anyone else that the Nazi considered being asocial. The name concentration camp came about because the inmates were concentrated physically in a single location.
It was in 1938, after Austria was annexed that the Nazis began sending the Jews to concentration camps. Initially, they were sent to camps located in Germany, such as those in Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald. However, in November 1938, after Kristallnacht, the atrocities against Jews increased.
Once Poland was conquered by the Nazis, the SS opened several camps, with Auschwitz being the worst of them. In these camps, the inmates were used for medical experiments, forced labor and extermination. The Jews were kept under inhumane conditions, and many of them succumbed to starvation, disease and exposure.
In 1941, when the Nazis invaded Soviet Union, many Russian prisoners of war were either shot or gassed in a concentration camp located in Lublin. It is estimated that thousands of Russians were killed in this camp.
The death camps during Holocaust had gas chambers that were capable of killing large number of people in one go. It is estimated that in Auschwitz, during the peak of the mass genocide perpetrated by the Nazis, six thousand Jews were killed every day in these gas chambers.
Around 6 million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis in these concentration camps during the Holocaust. And, just a small number of them lived to tell the atrocities and inhumane conditions that they were subjected to.
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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Nazi Camps