In The Camps Essay

2778 Words 12 Pages
In the Camps
Concentration camp is a term that stirs up many emotions. How did they come about? What were they exactly? And just what went on inside those walls? Many have tried to give a full description of what life in the camps was like. With toady’s fast moving and knowledgeable media the public has become very informed on the subject at hand. The fact still remains that few were there, so few can know what really happened. These three poignant questions posed above could each take eternity to fully understand. This is a short explanation of the atrocities that the Nazi’s handed out to the innocent victims of the Holocaust.
     How exactly did concentration and extermination camps come about, legally
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What were concentration and extermination camps? At first concentration camps were internment centers for political and minority groups. They housed non-Aryans who had been caught having sex with “Germans”, homosexuals, those deemed defected or disobedient, political opponents of the Nazi party, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. There were also French and Russian POW’s and Gypsies contained in Ravensbruk . Extermination camps were set up for one reason only, killing all Jews within reach in the most efficient way possible. In 1937, at the beginning of the Holocaust, those killed were mostly Jews who had been with Gentile women outside of marriage. Even at this point they were not all extinguished, some were simply sterilized. By 1940 those deemed incurably sick or insane were exterminated along with those who were considered to carry undesirable genes. Obviously this soon changed.
     Descriptions of the camps do not necessarily give full understanding of what the prisoners actually went through. Henry Orienstein gives his account of first seeing the prisoners in Budzyn. “I had never seen human beings look like that. Many of them were emaciated. They didn’t walk: they shuffled. They had a look of degradation, stupor, and despair.” He goes on describing the prisoners as smelling of feces, sores, and sweat. He says that many

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