Nazi Concentration Camps

Logan Wiser 1st

Introduction

German Nazi Concentration Camps were camps that held hundreds of thousands of Jews and others that were captured in this time period. These camps were different sizes and had different uses for there presence in this war, and were the final resting place for many prisoners after there death by gas, disease, starvation, or lack of sanitation.

Auschwitz

Auschwitz was the largest Nazi Concentration camp, and was opened in 1940. This camp was one of the many " death camps " and consisted of gas chambers and many soldiers. death camps had one main goal, kill the prisoners they received as fast as possible, through things like the gas chamber or just in cold blood. These gas chambers were large rooms that held many people. Nazi soldiers would lead a set of prisoners into this chamber, strip them of their clothes and then release a toxic gas killing everyone in this room in minutes. When everyone was dead inside, the soldiers would make other prisoners collect the bodies of their friends or sometimes even family. More than one million Jewish prisoners died at Auschwitz. A large majority of these deaths did not come from murder through the Nazi's but from the lack of sanitation at these camps which caused disease to break out. towards the end of the war, Soviet soldiers influtrated this camp and took it over forcing many Nazi soldiers to lead over 60,000 prisoners to other Nazi concentration camps.

Bergen-Belsen

This German Nazi concentration camp opened in 1943 and unlike Auschwitz or other "death" camps, this concentration camp served to hold prisoners until there was room for them to be moved to a "death" camp to be killed. After an individual was captured, they would be moved to a camp like Bergen-Belsen to be put to slave labor or other tasks. When the time came, all of the prisoners being moved would get on a train, which would take them to a "death" camp like Auschwitz. After the fall of Auschwitz, many prisoners were moved back to camps like Bergen-Belsen. Bergen-Belsen was only designed to hold 10,000 prisoners but ended up holding 60,000. The leaders of this camp were unable to maintain fundamental stability, and led to lack of sanitation and food. Due to these poor conditions, over 50,000 people died because of disease or starvation. In 1945, English troops marched into Bergen-Belsen and took it over. when news leaked to the public, everyone was shocked by the amount of corpses laying around.

Other Facts to Know

  • over 50% of the death were Jewish
  • typhus was the main cause of death in Nazi Germany
  • Bergen-Belsen held Anne Frank and was her final resting place who had just recently left Auschwitz after their mother died
  • Arbeit Macht Frei - a phrase meaning, “work sets you free”, and was hung at the entrance of many Concentration camps including Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen
  • over 11 million people died during this Nazi period, and mos of these deaths occuried at Auschwitz
  • some workers at Auschwitz were later convicted of war crimes



"Auschwitz Facts." Auschwitz Facts. SoftSchools,. Web. 07 Feb. 2016. <http://www.softschools.com/facts/world_history/auschwitz_facts/1379/>.

Surviving the Auschwitz Gas Chamber - Alice Sylvester

Conclusion

Concentration camps were a large part of the of the mass amount of deaths that occurred during this world war. We will never forget the horrible time time period of the Holocaust, and look back to remember those that lost their lives in gruesome ways by even worse people.

Further Information

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Belsen.html

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/auschwitz - these websites are published by the jewish virtual library and the History organization and holds a lot of information about the holocaust time period. This website gives more in debt on the topic of concentration camps like Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and other topics concering the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, or other points in World War 2.