The concentration camps were ordered by a cruel man named Adolf Hitler to concentrate enemies of Hitler’s Reich into prison camps. A concentration camp was known as a detention site outside the normal prison system to confine, terrorize, and kill civilians. Initially camps were made for opponents of the regime and the term was first used for the camps in the Boer War in 1900 to 1902. The word “reconcentrados” was already used in 1896 when people were confined to concentration camps in Cuba.
The English word was taken over into German in the form “Konzentrationslager.” The first concentration camp opened in Oranienburg Germany in 1933 and operation began later that year. The Jewish people were not sent to camps simply for being Jewish until 1938. Camps also originated in Soviet Russia in 1935. The name of the first camp was Dachau and served as a model for the other camps that followed.
The torturing of the Jews in the concentration camps was absolutely horrendous. Camps dehumanized the inmates in every possible way. Breakfast consisted of a slice of bread, ground-up acorns and water. The mid-day meal consisted of a soup of potato peels and beet, and dinner another slice of bread. People resorted in eating grass and roots in order to survive. Starvation would kill most of the people in the camps.
The Jewish people would be made to stand up for hours together for their roll calls. After families were separated, people would be stripped of their valuables and an identification number would be tattooed to their forearms. The women, children and elderly were put into one group and healthy and strong men formed another. The group of healthy people was made to do hard, laborious jobs throughout the day. The hygienic condition was very poor and taking a shower was not an option.
Death would be lurking around the corner of barracks. The most common form of death was disease. In the morning, sixty percent of the people in barracks did not wake up. Victims were beaten cruelly if they failed to perform their daily tasks or made an error. Sometimes if the victims attempted to escape, they would be drilled with a bullet through their bodies. The dead would be buried in large gravel or dumped into trucks.
These camps of torture were located throughout Germany and Eastern Europe. By the second phase of concentration camps, the original camps were closed. The new camps were established in Sachesenhauen, Buchwald, Mauthausen, and Ravensbruck which were all established in Austria around 1936 to 1939. There were other countries where concentration camps were located. The names of these countries were: Germany, Estonia, Finland, Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Yugoslavia, and Holland.
Not only did the horrible Nazis capture the Jews, they captured other religious groups as well. They captured over three million Jewish people regardless of age or gender. The Saleschutz family was taken in the winter of 1941. A young individual named Rudolf Urba was seventeen years old when he was captured in June 1942. Urba worked as a slave laborer in Auschwitz. Eleven million people were killed during the Holocaust. Two million of these people were Catholics, three