Dont Concentrate on Camps Essay

This essay has a total of 1381 words and 6 pages.

Dont Concentrate on Camps

Don't Concentrate on Camps
A concentration camp can be defined as a camp were particular people are confined or
detained for a period of time, although ironically the term death camp is commonly used as
a synonym. Between the years of 1942 and 1945 the German Nazi Party initiated
concentration camps for all Jews and other peoples that were considered by Adolf Hitler to
be inferior. This is a commonly known fact, although extensive knowledge is limited to
most people. The majority of concentration camps established have been used for the
containing and eventual extermination of its prisoners. Camps have been located all over
the world for many different reasons. Survivors (though rare) do exist and always have
gruesome, life altering stories kept away in there souls. Undoubtedly Auschwitz in Poland
is the most well known camp, but the future existence of concentration camps in the United
States has even been discussed.

Although one of the first uses of concentration camps was by Britain in 1899 against the
Boerevolk people, Adold Hitler took them to extreme during World War II (Berwick 85). The
first concentration camps of the 1930's were simply meant to hold political enemy's of the
Nazi state such as Communists and Socialists, but eventually, bigger camps were created
for the extermination of inferior groups and races (Swiebocka 1). The original intention
of concentration

camps was not specifically to murder mass numbers of people although that was though of as
a plus side. In his raging insanity Adolf Hitler molded the concept of concentration camps
from containment to extermination. Hitler located his primary concentration extermination
camps in Poland focusing on six main camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno,
Majdanek-Lublin, Sobibor, and Treblinka (Sheehan 6). In these camps alone over 2,700,000
Jews were murdered, along with tens of thousands of Gypsies, Soviet prisoners of war,
Poles, and others (Sheehan7). The prisoners in these camps died from many different
causes. Some simply died from starvation and illness, others were told to "dig a hole" and
then when they finished were shot only to fall inside there own grave. Most were sent to
gas chambers to be chemically destroyed. Nazi guards would give the prisoners a small
piece of soap and tell them to go into a designated room and "shower". They would then
tightly pack as many people as possible into the chamber, close the door, and 30 minutes
later toss all the dead bodies into a pile to be cremated, over 8,000 people were killed a
day in some camps (Knight 1). The horrific conditions of these camps can be compared to
absolutely nothing today, only a survivor of the Holocaust could fully understand this
massacre.

"As I walk to the gate, I have the same fear as I had 50 years ago", this statement came
from Elie Wiesel an Auschwitz-Birkenau Holocaust survivor (Bajak 1). At the 50th
anniversary ceremony for the liberation of Auschwitz, survivor Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace
Prize winner, reentered the gates of his potential grave site only to say, "It is in me,
it is still the same fear" (Bajak1). Of

the 9,500,000 Jewish people in Germany and surrounding countries, an estimated 5,596,049
million died as a result of the holocaust and its concentration extermination camps
(Sheehan 17). This means that only 3,903,951 Jews survived World War II, approximately
two-thirds of the Jewish race was obliterated. "Elane Norych Geller was 9 years old when
Bergen-Belsen was liberated by troops from the British Seventh Army on April 15, 1945 -
just a child who had already seen the darkest side of human nature" (Knight 1).

Elane Geller, a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, the same camp where Anne
Frank died, is now a lecturer for the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Los
Angeles. (Knight 1) She wants people to understand that the Holocaust was carried out in a
modern country by everyday people. Citizens of Germany who on their off day's would teach
their kids to ride a bike, where designing gas chambers and crematories to kill millions
of people. Geller feels that it is important for people to know that these vicious acts
were committed in the light of day, not "in a dark country by evil looking people" (Knight
1). Most of the concentration camps ended with half or more of its inhabitants surviving,
but perhaps the most deadly camp was Auschwitz.

After the occupation of Poland by the Third Reich, the name of the city of Oswiecim was
changed to Auschwitz by the Germans, and became the name of the camp as well (Berwick
91).The Auschwitz concentration extermination camp was the largest, deadliest, and by far
the most well known camp today. Over the years, the camp was expanded and consisted of
three main parts: Auschwitz I,
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