Concentration Camp Life

By: Erik Brown


Dachau, the first nazi concentration camp opened in March, 1933. By the time the war ended, Hitler had established over 40,000 camps spanning across Europe. These camps consisted of mostly jews, but also contained individuals who had "done wrong". What work you were assigned to do in the camps was based on your social status. People of higher class were rewarded with more desirable work. On the other hand, people on the lower class were assigned the less desirable jobs. These consisted of mining, construction, and factory work. Away from work, the harsh treatment did not end, living conditions were also harsh and extreme. Overall, these camps dehumanized any individual that entered them.
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This image is significant to life in the concentration camps because it shows just how little prisoners were fed. They were literally starved to death. After a hard day of work, they would go back to very small rations of food, making the work they were doing even harder on their body.
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This picture is also very significant in showing the living conditions of the prisoners. As you can see, they were cramped into these so called beds. No mattress, no pillow, making it very hard for prisoners to even get sleep at night. It is important to see how they really did not have anything to be grateful for in these camps. The were treated as caged animals, not human beings.
Holocaust Survivor Testimonies: Slave Labor in the Concentration Camps
From this video, you can get a good sense of how poorly the prisoners were treated. You can see how harsh punishments were and how hard the work labor was. Work was the only thing you had, and if you could not do it, you were killed. This video explains the gruesome realities of life in the concentration camps.