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Nazi Concentration Camps

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Kaylee West Mrs. Hunt Honors English II 3 March, 2008 Nazi Concentration Camps When Adolph Hitler was declared ruler of Germany approximately 64 years ago, it was at his request that Nazi soldiers marched hostages out of their homes. These hostages never dreamed that this could be the last few minutes of their lives (Walt). They were carried to concentration camps where some were shot and tortured along the way. A concentration camp is when political rivals are imprisoned without a trial. In 1945, when the allied forces reached these camps, they found an obscene amount of dead people that had not been buried and a number of survivors that were crippled, insane, or dying from a lack of nutrition or diseases (Windell). From the beginning of camp establishment to the conclusion of this horrific tragedy, both Jews and people of other ethnicities had to endure such horrible conditions in these concentration camps that the world may never forget their sufferings. Soon after Hitler came to rule, some of Germany's first concentration camps were established. Those who were against Hitler were "concentrated" in camps (van der Rol and Verhoeven 94). ...read more.


The prisoners, excluding all Germans, were tortured in some form whether it was by physically abusing or taking advantage of them. In the beginning, the prisoners were primarily either opponents of the regime, Communists, Social Democrats, or their supporters. The camps were later used to punish criminals, prostitutes, homosexuals, vagrants, gypsies, clergymen, Jehovah's Witnesses, and pacifists. According to the Germans, all of these people were negative elements, harmful to society, and dangerous to Germany's strength. Most people falsely believe all prisoners were Jewish. Although the Jews were the largest ethnic group represented in the camps, people of other ethnicities were also tortured and killed in the camps (Seger 17). These tortures included beatings, whippings, chaining for several days, immersion in ice water, drowning in the bath tub, charging the bath with electricity of the most sensitive parts of the body, burns, and pulling out fingernails. While torturing a prisoner, the experimenters documented the prisoner's response to each of the various forms of torture. Some of the documented responses included the prisoner foaming at the mouth, battering in pain, wheezing in death rattles, or fading into semi consciousness. The experimenters also performed experiments to test the prisoner's response to high altitude flight, decompression chambers, extreme pressure, and vacuum conditions. ...read more.


Some were fortunate enough to wear a pair of underwear as well. Twice a week the "flying squad" would come to bandage their wounds with some flimsy paper which helped very little (Cohen 60-61). During the time of the Holocaust, there were two types of murderers: desk murderers and executioners. The desk murderers just sat back in their desks while giving orders to others to conduct the killings. Some of these desk murderers included Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich, Muller, and Eichmann. The executioners actually carried out the executions and "gassings". Some of the executioners included Hoss, Wirth, Mengele, the concentration camp guards, and the men of the Einsatzgruppen. Those who committed these murders thought that this was the only option to save Germany (Fischer 486, 513). According to Klaus P. Fischer in Nazi Germany, he says, "The rest of the world learned about the Holocaust almost as soon as it began. The world stood idly and shrugged off what was happening. The whole story was beyond imagination. Neither Britain or the United States showed interest in the fate of the Jews (517)." People of all walks of life were affected by the violent acts of the Nazi government. The idea of being tortured is something that is inconceivable in today's society. Other nations stood idly by and did nothing to help these victims, and as a result millions were killed. ...read more.

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