Essay About Concentration Camps

Summary: Describes the experience of living in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. Explains how the Nazis determined what people would be sent there. Compares the genocide of the Jews to modern examples of genocide.


Concentration camps were places where groups of people are confined, usually for political reasons and under inhumane conditions. Men, women, and children are confine without normal judicial trials for an intermediate period of confinement. Camps usually consist of barracks, huts, or tents, surrounded by watchtowers and barbed wire.

Adolf Hitler who was the ruler of Germany felt that the Jewish people were weak, and he decided that they needed to be killed in order to build a superior society. This is called Genocide. Which still occurs today in several countries. Saddam Hussein is accused of that today.

The Mauthausen concentration camp was the most infamous camp in the entire Nazi alternate universe of human destruction. Many of the people in Mauthausen, most of which, innocent of any crimes, were tortured to death in its rock quarry. Mauthausen was ran by Chief of SS, Heinrich Himmler.

The prisoners were...

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Concentration Camps Essay

The first concentration camps were set up in 1933. In the early days of Hitler, concentration camps were places that held people in protective custody. Victims for protective custody included those who were both physically and mentally ill, gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses, Jews and anyone against the Nazi regime. By the end of 1933 there were at least fifty concentration camps throughout Europe. At first, the Gestapo (police) controlled the camps, but by 1934 the S.S. (Hitler's personal security force) controlled the camps.

Camps were set up for different purposes: some for forced labor, others for medical experiments and, later on, for death/extermination. Transition camps were set up as holding places for death camps. Henrick Himmler, chief of the German police (the Gestapo), thought that the camps would provide an economic base for the soldiers. This did not happen. The work force was poorly organized and working conditions were inhumane making productivity minimal.

Camps were set up along railroad lines, so that the prisoners would be conveniently close to their destination. As they were being transported, the soldiers kept telling the Jews to have hope.

When the camps were finally opened, most of the families who were shipped out together ended up being separated. Often, the transports were a sampling of what went on in the camps: cruelty by the officers, near starvation of those being transported and, foul and unsanitary conditions on the trains. On the trains, Jews were starved of food and water for days. Many people did not survive the ride to arrive at the camp.

Jews were forced to obey the guard's orders from the moment they arrived at the camps. If they didn't, they would be beaten, put into solitary confinement or shot. The prisoners usually had marks on their clothes or numbers on their arms to identify them.

The sanitary conditions of the camps were horrible. There was only one bathroom for four hundred people. They had to stand for hours in snow, rain, heat, or cold for role-call, which was twice a day. Within the first few days of being at the camps, thousands of...

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