Death Camps

By: Colby Smith


The Death Camps were much different from Concentration Camps. The difference being, in Concentration Camps, Jews were sent to perform physical labor as punishment for making the Germans suffer after WW1. In Death Camps, the Germans slaughtered Jews instead of making them do labor. A common occurrence in the death camps was the use of poisonous gasses, crematoriums, and starvation to kill all jews that went there.

Upon arriving at the camp, detainees were examined by Nazi doctors. Those detainees considered unfit for work, including young children, the elderly, pregnant women and the infirm, were immediately ordered to take showers. However, the bathhouses to which they marched were disguised gas chambers. For those prisoners who initially escaped the gas chambers, an undetermined number died from overwork, disease, insufficient nutrition or the daily struggle for survival in brutal living conditions. Arbitrary executions, torture and retribution happened daily, in front of the other prisoners. Also, some Auschwitz prisoners were subjected to inhumane medical experimentation. The chief perpetrator of this barbaric research was Josef Mengele (1911-79), a German physician who began working at Auschwitz in 1943. Mengele, who came to be known as the “Angel of Death,” performed a range of experiments on detainees, killing most patients.

According to some estimates, between 1.1 million to 1.5 million people, the vast majority of them Jews, died at Auschwitz during its years of operation. An estimated 70,000 to 80,000 Poles perished at the camp, along with 19,000 to 20,000 Gypsies and smaller numbers of Soviet prisoners of war and other individuals. Over 6 million died in total from these camps.
Horrifying pictures from the German death camps of the Nazi holocaust

Works Cited

"Auschwitz." A&E Television Networks, 1 Sept. 2009. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.