Following World War I, Germany’s economy majorly decreased. President Paul von Hindenburg brought the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, Adolf Hitler, as chancellor in January of 1933. Hitler spoke of new ways to improve Germany’s economy. As a result, German democracy and civil rights ended, causing punishment without trial, which began the expulsion of non-German citizens. Von Hindenburg died in 1934, and a year later Hitler took the role of the absolute dictator. Hitler blamed the Jews for the economic decrease and loss of World War I. The Nazis alienated Jews and other non-German groups from society and put them in concentration camps. During World War II, Nazi Germany and its collaborators murdered six million Jewish men, women, and children in the time period known as the Holocaust. Concentration camps, especially Auschwitz, and medical experiments contributed to the attempt of dehumanization during the Holocaust.
To begin, concentration camps set up by Nazis secluded non-German citizens from society. Nazis incept different groups of people such as Gypsies, homosexuals, and handicapped in camps. The Holocaust Encyclopedia notes, “The largest number of prisoners were Jews, but individuals were arrested and imprisoned for a variety of reasons, including ethnicity and political affiliation” (“Concentration”). Victims sent into the camps awaited death the moment of arrival. Different camps included different torture treatments. “During this period, the German authorities constructed gas chambers for use to kill people at several of the concentration camps. Gas chambers were constructed at Mauthausen, Sachenhausen, Auschwitz I, and other camps” (“Concentration”). The Nazis used gas chambers to kill large amounts of people throughout the Holocaust. “As Germany conquered much of Europe in the years 1939–1941, the SS established a number of new concentration camps to incarcerate increased numbers of political prisoners, resistance groups, and groups deemed racially inferior, such as Jews and Roma (Gypsies)” (“Concentration”). Concentration camps stretched across Eroupe by the end of World War II. “A German map of 1945 lists 3,000 camps, but there were probably many more” (Wigoder, 190). Not every forced labor camp and concentration camp solely focused on death. However, the extreme amount of labor as well as the treatment individually was so harsh many died.
Furthermore, the Auschwitz complex, divided into three individual camps, provided a place for separate extermination. As seen in the book The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Museum, “The SS authorities established three main camps near the Polish city of Oswiecim: Auschwitz I in May 1940; Auschwitz II (also called Aushwitz-Birenau) in early 1942; and Auschwitz III (also called Auschwitz- Monowitz) in October 1924” (Berenbaum, 167). To aid the extermination of more Jews, Germans set up three different camps, Auschwitz I, II, and III. Auschwitz housed severe mistreatment as seen by Holocaust this survivor, “”You couldn’t cry in Auschwitz. You cried, you died. If you even showed more weakness than you already had, you didn’t survive the day”” (Berenbaum, 128). Auschwitz, known as the largest concentration camp, conducted the cruelest treatments. Within all three Auschwitz camps, each included different forms of treatment. “At Auschwitz III, the SS doctor Josef Mengele conducted experiments on twins to seek ways of increasing the German population by breeding families that would produce twins” (Berenbaum, 171). Mengele spent time trying to breed twins to help bring Germans into greater superiority. The Auschwitz complex’s included the most deaths because of the cruel treatments imbedded throughout all three camps. According to the article “Voice of Experience”, “While no one knows for sure how many people perished in that place, the most careful