Concentration Camps The Holocaust was one of the most terrible catastrophes in modern history. Before world war II about nine million Jews lived in Europe. Six million died in the war and a lot of them died in the concentration camps. The Nazis set up their first concentration camp in 1933, six years before World War II. It was called Dachau.

The S. A and SS guards, members of the Nazi army, ran Dachau with cruelty. Prisoners were forced to do intolerable and often useless work. Those who refused to obey were shot or hanged on the spot. In 1939, as World War II started the Nazis began to build more concentration camps. Anyone who the Nazis didn t like might end up in a camp.

By 1940, the concentration camps were used for slave labor because Germany badly needed workers for its war effort. In all, the Nazis built 23 main camps. Of course, there were small camps too. Population in concentration camps went up from about 25, 000 in 1930 to over 100, 000 in January 1945. Concentration camps were brutal guards treat the inmates worse than slaves. They viewed camps as another way to get rid of Jews.

Nazi doctors carried out phony cruel experiments on camp prisoners-many young children. In 1941, Hitler decided to get rid of all the Jews. Concentration camps provided ways to do that by working prisoners to death. That was called Extermination through labor. That, however, was a very slow way to get rid of Jews. The Nazis wanted a quicker solution.

They got other ways to kill them: by beating them. That way turned out to be too bloody and too public. There were too many bad things about it, so they decided to set up death camps. Death camps were set up in Poland. The first was Chelmno, which opened in late 1941.

The only purpose of these camps was mass murder. Nazis set up gas chambers and killed thousands of people each day. Nazis forced their victims to strip, and they too their valuables. To the cold, Nazis lied to prisoners about their death.

The Nazis told the Jews that they were going to shower to get rid of the lice when actually, they were going to the gas chambers to be killed. The killing centers did their job, as they killed six million Jews.