The MegaMilitary Project | Online Edition #373

Nazi Camps

The Nazis built their order on the bedrock of an enormous and highly complex concentration and destruction system. By World War II the system comprised killing centers, concentration camps, labor camps, death camps, penal settlements, Jewish camps, resettlement centers, camps for foreign workers and POWs, transient camps for those waiting (usually to be killed), and ghettos.

Hitler established the camps when he came into power to isolate, punishing, torturing, and killing Germans suspected of opposition to his regime. From 1933 to 1938, the Nazis considered the camps primarily as places for the protective custody of political enemies of the state, not as the death pits, labor extractors, and medical research stations they became.

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When the Nazi Party, led by Adolf Hitler, came to power in Germany in 1933, it wanted to set up the perfect Nazi state. The Nazis wanted to stamp out any opposition to their rule, so they set up a system of camps for holding people they saw as undesirable.
As the first Nazi concentration camp, Dachau set the tone for all subsequent facilities of this type. The rationale for the establishment of the camp followed the suspension of the German democratic constitution on 28 February 1933, with the ensuing "protective custody" measures against all critics of the Nazi regime.
Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany operated from 1937 to 1945, during which tens of thousands of inmates were put to death by the SS-Schutzstaffel, including several thousand Soviet POWs and several Allied intelligence officers.
Auschwitz (in German) or Oświęcim (in Polish) was the largest and most notorious German concentration camp during World War II. It was one of the so called combined camps (concentration and extermination camp) like the Majdanek concentration camp. Originally built as a military barracks, Auschwitz I received its first prisoners in June 1940 with...
In April 1945, British forces liberated Bergen-Belsen, a concentration camp complex near Hanover, Germany. The contents of the "Horror Camp" shocked and disgusted hardened soldiers and medics alike. Because of extensive British film and press coverage of conditions in the camp, it was held up as a symbol of the cruelty of the Nazi regime and pro...
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