Concentration Camps

Holocaust By: Hannah Lee

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Concentration Camps

The Holocaust was the darkest period of history. Every two out of three Jews were killed, a total of six million Jews were exterminated by the Nazis. Imagine being a Jew in 1940, Germany. The Jews stayed in a small room with fifty other people, constantly smelling the overwhelming stench of dying flesh. They had no electricity and no running water. The Jews were forced to work fourteen hours of exhausting labor every day. A piece of rotten bread or a cup of watery soup is all they received to eat. That is what most people in the concentration camps experienced every day. The concentration camps were designed so very few humans would survive. The concentration camp’s living conditions were appalling and despicable.

Living Conditions

The living conditions of the camps were unimaginable. Some of the living conditions include the ghetto, food, and labor. The ghettos were filthy and very crowded. The poor living conditions and the crowding fifty people placed in each ghetto lead to the spread of disease. A typical meal for the prisoners consisted of watery soup and a piece of rotten bread. Finding just a potato peel in the soup would be considered lucky. Kity Hart Moxon, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp remembers the high demand for food. She quotes that she was so desperate for food, she stole a piece of bread from a dead person. The labor in the concentration camps was very strenuous. The prisoners would clean the barracks, the Schutzstaffel’s room, repair buildings, and gas chambers. The living conditions made it very difficult for the prisoners to survive.


Hitler was very obsessed about the perfect race. He believed that the Germans were far more superior than any other race. He thought that in order for his race to rule the world some day that the Germans should stay pure. In the beginning of 1933, the Nazis started to sterilize many different types of people. One method of sterilizing those races they used was putting people in concentration camps. The Nazis put a variety of people they thought was not perfect in the concentration camps. Some of those people include the Jews, homosexuals, and the disabled. The Nazis made the prisoners wear a small colored triangle so they could distinguish between all the prisoners. A specific color was designated for each prisoner so the Nazi officers knew what type of prisoner they were. Many different types of people were put in concentration camps just because they were not superior in Hitler’s eyes.


The Nazis built twenty thousand concentration camps over the reign of Adolf Hitler. Building concentration camps only had one purpose and that purpose was to effectively sterilize the inferior races. These camps held different purposes including labor, killing centers and death camps. In the labor camps the Nazis forced labor to millions of prisoners under brutal condition. Camp Dachau was one of the first concentration camps opened, it was established in 1933 and until 1945. The camp was established for many different reasons. In Dachau, Schutzstaffel physicians tried many medical experiments on the prisoners which resulted in death or physical injury. The prisoners were also forced to do hard labor such as building roads, work in gravel pits, and drain marshes. Typhus was one of the results of the overcrowding in barracks and poor sanitary conditions. One of many ways to exterminate the prisoners was the concentration camps because the prisoners would die of hunger, labor, and disease.


Even though the Holocaust is something that occured over sixty years ago, does not mean that it should be forgotten and does not matter. The Holocaust still matters today because many today world events are on their way to becoming an event similar to the Holocaust. A good example is ISIS or North Korea. Many present- day terrorists have the same exact beliefs and ideas that Hitler and the Nazis had. Some places in the world are very close to experiencing the Holocaust, just with a different tyranny ruler. The Holocaust should be remembered because the Holocaust shows everyone how history can repeat again if nobody learns from the past.