campsHolocaust concentration camps became known as extermination camps becaause there were very few survivors of the harsh labor, dehydration, starvation, disease and inadequate living conditions.

Less than two months after Hitler was sworn in as chancellor he established one of the first concentration camp March of 1933 in Dachau, Germany.

The word ‘concentration’ comes from the idea of confining a group of people in one place that are judged to be undesirable and a burden to a society or a superior race.

The purpose of these holocaust concentration camps was to hold political prisoners and any person that could potentially oppose the Nazi regime.

Henrich Himmler, who was Hitler’s chief of German police, a top leader of the Nazis, a main collaborator of the holocaust was also the overseer of these camps.

Dachau’s camp would serve as a model of the Nazis extermination camps that were soon to come.

The Nazi Party was full of paranoia and fear which was why they formed approximately 20,000 camps throughout Europe. They feared conspiracy from Germans who had served in the previous democracies governmental or military positions.

The result of this fear lead to 3.5 million jews spending time in these camps for polical reasons and approximately 77,000 German citizens were executed to avoid any threat of resistance of Nazi ideology.

In 1939 the outbreak of World War II caused by Adolf Hitler changed the role of these camps as they became a place of absolute terror. Any and all people that were sentenced to the Nazis camps were tortured, starved or murdered.

The largest groups of people in these holocaust concentration camps were Jews and Russian prisoners of war but also chosen to be exterminated were handicapped, homosexuals, Gypsies(Romanis), Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic clergy and ethnic Poles.

Once one was selected to go to the Nazis camps, which no person knew what day or hour, it was a really horrific process.

The Nazis just showed up at the door to arrest innocent jews for no reason, took possession of their belongings, they were told to pack some of their personal belongings which they never saw again.

The Nazi police would then take them to one of the many deportation train stations.


The prisoners were then packed into boxcars suitable only for cattle or freight. Prisoners were confined to these boxcars for days and weeks in inhumane conditions.

Many died from dehydration, starvation or froze to death before they reached their destination.

If any of the jews were fortunate enough or better yet strong enough to make it to one of the camps life got worse.

There was now a selection process to see if they were fit to work or die in the camp. Those that came on the cars with their families were seperated and some families never saw each other again.

Their were several survivors of these holocaust concentration camps but deaths outnumbered those that lived. Many holocaust survivors have written books that are well worth reading. The books go into detail of what everyday life was like inside the camps.

If you have an opportunity to read a holocaust survivors book or listen to them speak it is an eye-opener to see how un-appreciative we as human beings have been.

The victims of the holocaust were very aware of what they had lost….a better way to say it would be stolen. All of a sudden every right and privilege was gone but they endured as long as they could in hope that what they were going through was nothing but a nightmare.