The Holocaust Essay

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Concentration Camps The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. This was the murder of six million Jews and other persecuted groups by the German Nazi regime. Adolf Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. Hitler rose to power after the death of Paul von Hindenburg. Due to his death, Adolf Hitler became head of state as well as head of government. Hitler was a fascist ruler who initiated World War II. Under the ruling of Adolf Hitler, concentration camps were created. The term concentration camp refers to a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions and without regard to legal norms. Nazi Germany established about 20,000 concentration camps to incarcerate millions of victims between 1933 and 1945. The first concentration camps in Germany were established in 1933 after Hitler became chancellor. The camps were originally created to detain political opponents of Nazi policy and union organizers. When Hitler finally allowed Heinrich Himmler to use the camps’ facilities the “unwanted” such as gypsies, Jehovah’s witnesses, homosexuals, German communists, and people accuses of socially deviant behavior. Heinrich Himmler was a military commander and a leading member of the Nazi party of Nazi Germany. Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and he was under the control of Adolf Hitler. On Hitler’s behalf, Heinrich Himmler organized and controlled the Nazi concentration camps. He oversaw all internal and external police and security forces beginning in 1943. Himmler was Chief of German Police and Minister of the Inferior. Under the rule of Hitler, Himmler formed the Einsatzgruppen and built extermination camps. Heinrich Himmler was responsible for the death of millions and he used his strong belief in the racist Nazi ideology to justify his actions. Himmler was one of the leaders who was most directly accountable for the Holocaust. “They pointed their fingers, the way one might choose cattle, or merchandise” (Wiesel 49) . The concentration camps were used for several purposes. Forced labor camps gave the Jews hope that work would set them free, but most often the ability to work would only save one’s life temporarily. The imprisoned were used for labor for more construction, urban renewal, and transportation projects. The labor was often pointless and humiliating and it was given without the proper equipment or clothing. Transit camps served as temporary way stations. Jews were confined in transit camps before being sent to a new camp. A train of about twenty cattle cars would arrive at these camps and deport those who had been selected to the new destination. Extermination camps were also known as death camps. These camps were built primarily for mass murder and referred to as killing centers. Extermination camps were used to systematically kill millions of people by using genocide and extreme work under harsh conditions. Concentration camps gave the opportunity to survive, however, an extermination camp was the end to an innocent life. The first concentration camp was Dachau and it was established on March 20, 1933. The first buildings in this camp were remnants of a World War I factory. Eventually, prisoners were forced to demolish the buildings and expand the camp. The camp included thirty-two barracks, electrified fences, and seven watchtowers. Sections of camps were separated by electrified barbed-wire fences and were patrolled by SS guards. Dachau was a concentration camp and not a death camp, however, one gas chamber was built in 1942 but it was never used. Dachau remained in operation for twelve years and the camp had expanded to hold more prisoners. This camp was where about 50,000 prisoners had experienced death. Medical experiments were usually performed on those who were weak and useless according to the SS officers. “The dentist, a Jew from