List of Nazi concentration camps
According to the Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, there were 23 main concentration camps (German: Stammlager), of which most had a system of satellite camps. Including the satellite camps, the total number of Nazi concentration camps that existed at one point in time is at least 1,, although these did not all exist at the same time. Auschwitz, Polish Oswiecim, also called Auschwitz-Birkenau, Nazi Germany’s largest concentration camp and extermination camp. Located near the industrial town of Oswiecim in southern Poland (in a portion of the country that was annexed by Germany at the beginning of World War II), Auschwitz was actually three camps in one: a prison camp, an extermination camp, and a slave-labour camp.
Auschwitz, also known as Thr, opened in and was the largest of the Nazi concentration and death camps. Located in southern Poland, Auschwitz initially served as a detention center for political prisoners. However, it evolved into a network of camps where Jewish people and other perceived enemies how to write a pr article the Nazi state were exterminated, often in gas chambers, or used as slave labor.
Some prisoners were also subjected to barbaric medical experiments led by Josef Mengele During World War IImore than 1 million people, by some reath, lost their lives at Auschwitz. In Januarywith the Soviet army approaching, Nazi officials ordered the camp abandoned and sent an estimated 60, prisoners on a forced march to other locations. When the Soviets entered Auschwitz, they found thousands of emaciated detainees and piles wjat corpses left behind.
To complete this mission, Hitler ordered the construction of death camps. Auschwitz, the largest and arguably the most notorious of all the Nazi death camps, opened in the spring of Auschwitz originally was conceived as a concentration camp, to be used as a detention center for the many Polish citizens arrested after Germany annexed the country in These detainees included anti-Nazi activists, politicians, resistance members and luminaries from the cultural and scientific communities.
For one thing, it was situated near the center of all German-occupied countries on the European continent. For another, it was in close proximity to the string of rail lines used to transport detainees to the network of Nazi camps.
However, not all those arriving at Auschwitz were immediately exterminated. At its peak of operation, Auschwitz consisted of several divisions. The original camp, known as Auschwitz I, housed between 15, and 20, political prisoners.
Thd, the biggest of the Auschwitz facilities, could hold some 90, prisoners. It also housed a group of bathhouses where countless people were gassed to death, and crematory ovens where bodies were burned. The majority of Auschwitz victims died at Birkenau. More what was the largest of the nazi death camps 40 smaller facilities, called subcamps, dotted the landscape and served as slave-labor camps.
The largest of these subcamps, Monowitz, also known as Auschwitz III, began operating in and housed some 10, prisoners. By mid, the majority of those being sent by the Nazis to Auschwitz were Jews. Upon arriving at the camp, detainees were examined by Nazi doctors.
Those detainees considered unfit for work, including young children, the elderly, pregnant women and the acmps, were immediately ordered to take showers. However, the bathhouses to which they marched were disguised gas chambers. Once inside, the prisoners were exposed to Zyklon-B poison gas.
Individuals marked as unfit for work were never officially registered as Auschwitz inmates. For this reason, it is impossible to calculate the number of lives lost in the camp.
For those prisoners who initially escaped the gas chambers, an undetermined number died from overwork, disease, insufficient nutrition or the daily struggle for survival in brutal living conditions. Arbitrary executions, torture and retribution happened daily in front of the other prisoners. Some Auschwitz prisoners were subjected to inhumane medical experimentation. The chief perpetrator of this barbaric research was Josef Mengelea German physician who began working at Auschwitz in For example, in an effort to study eye color, he injected serum into the eyeballs of dozens of children, causing them excruciating pain.
He also injected chloroform into the hearts of twins to determine if both siblings would die at the same time and in the same manner. As came to a close and the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Allied forces seemed certain, the Auschwitz commandants began destroying evidence of the horror that had taken place there. Buildings were torn down, blown up or set on fire, and records were destroyed. How to clean gel nail brushes the end of the month, in what came to be known as the Auschwitz death marches, an estimated 60, detainees, accompanied by Nazi guards, departed the camp and were forced to march to the Polish towns of Gliwice or Wodzislaw, some 30 miles away.
Countless prisoners died during this process; those who made it to the sites were sent on ghe to concentration camps in Germany. When the Soviet army entered Auschwitz on January 27, they found approximately 7, sick or emaciated detainees who had been left behind barbed wire. The liberators also discovered mounds of corpses, hundreds of thousands of pieces of clothing and pairs of shoes and seven tons campe human hair that had been shaved from detainees before their liquidation.
According to some estimates, between 1. An estimated 70, to 80, Poles perished at the camp, along with 19, to 20, Romas and smaller numbers of Soviet prisoners of war and other individuals. It tells the story of the largest mass murder site in history and acts as a reminder of the horrors of genocide.
But if you see something camp doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting if past to the present. Sincethe word has taken on a new and horrible meaning: the ideological and systematic state-sponsored In fewer than four years, more than 1.
People were crammed into cattle cars with little food or toilets and transported to Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland. Upon arriving, they were Eighty-eight pounds of eyeglasses. Hundreds of prosthetic limbs. Twelve thousand pots and pans. Forty-four thousand cams of shoes. Mindu Hornick, 13, peered through a crack in the door of her stopped cattle car and read a name: Auschwitz.
Auschwitz was the largest and deadliest of six dedicated extermination camps where hundreds of thousands of people were tortured and murdered during World War II and the Holocaust under the how to reset password for macbook air of Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler.
As one of the greatest tragedies It was a frigid day in occupied Poland, and for all Shmuel Beller knew, it could be his last.
As Russian forces advanced toward Auschwitz, Beller and other prisoners had been told feath their captors that they had to leave the death camp. So he ran into one of the storage facilities It wasand the forestry student was working to help restore the original forest around what was once Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp, opened inshortly after Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. Located in southern Germany, Dachau was initially a camp for political prisoners; however, it eventually evolved into a death camp where countless Live TV.
This Day In History. History Vault. Nazi Victims Find Haven in America. The Nuremberg Trials. Dachau Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp, opened inshortly after Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.
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Jan 22, · Auschwitz was the largest and deadliest of six dedicated extermination camps where hundreds of thousands of people were tortured and murdered during World War II and the Holocaust under the orders Author: Natasha Frost. 24 rows · Eisenhower Letter On 10th Anniversary of Liberation of Concentration Camps. Goldstein Thanks. Approximately prisoners survived the three camps, virtually all of them escaped from Treblinka II and Sobibor during the respective uprisings in August and October Auschwitz-Birkenau. The largest killing center was Auschwitz-Birkenau, also known as Auschwitz II.
Auschwitz and Majdanek death camps also used extreme work under starvation conditions in order to kill their prisoners. The idea of mass extermination with the use of stationary facilities, to which the victims were taken by train , was the result of earlier Nazi experimentation with chemically manufactured poison gas during the secretive Aktion T4 euthanasia programme against hospital patients with mental and physical disabilities.
After the invasion of Poland in September , the secret Aktion T4 euthanasia programme — the systematic murder of German, Austrian and Polish hospital patients with mental or physical disabilities — was initiated by the SS in order to eliminate " life unworthy of life " German : Lebensunwertes Leben , a Nazi designation for people who had no right to life.
By then, the Jews were already confined to new ghettos and interned in Nazi concentration camps along with other targeted groups, including Roma, and the Soviet POWs.
The adoption of the gassing technology by Nazi Germany was preceded by a wave of hands-on killings carried out by the SS Einsatzgruppen ,  who followed the Wehrmacht army during Operation Barbarossa on the Eastern Front. The camps designed specifically for the mass gassings of Jews were established in the months following the Wannsee Conference chaired by Reinhard Heydrich in January in which the principle was made clear that the Jews of Europe were to be exterminated.
Responsibility for the logistics was to be handled by the programme administrator, Adolf Eichmann. The Nazis distinguished between extermination and concentration camps. The terms extermination camp Vernichtungslager and death camp Todeslager were interchangeable in the Nazi system, each referring to camps whose primary function was genocide.
Six camps meet this definition, though extermination of people happened at every sort of concentration camp or transit camp; the use of the term extermination camp with its exclusive purpose is carried over from Nazi terminology. Todeslagers were designed specifically for the systematic killing of people delivered en masse by the Holocaust trains. They don't call Auschwitz the camp of annihilation for nothing! Then, when asked, "How do you classify the camps Mauthausen , Dachau , and Buchenwald?
Murders were not limited to these camps. Irrespective of round-ups for extermination camps, the Nazis abducted millions of foreigners for slave labour in other types of camps ,  which provided perfect cover for the extermination programme.
In the early years of World War II, the Jews were primarily sent to forced labour camps and ghettoised, but from onward they were deported to the extermination camps under the guise of "resettlement". For political and logistical reasons, the most infamous Nazi German killing factories were built in occupied Poland , where most of the intended victims lived; Poland had the greatest Jewish population in Nazi-controlled Europe.
The killing method was based on experience gained by the SS during the secretive Aktion T4 programme of involuntary euthanasia. There were two types of death chambers operating during the Holocaust. The three killing centres of Einsatz Reinhard were constructed predominantly for the extermination of Poland's Jews trapped in the Nazi ghettos. The six camps considered to be purely for extermination were Chelmno extermination camp , Belzec extermination camp , Sobibor extermination camp , Treblinka extermination camp , Majdanek extermination camp and Auschwitz extermination camp also called Auschwitz-Birkenau.
All were constructed near branch lines that linked to the Polish railway system, with staff members transferring between locations. These camps had almost identical design: they were several hundred metres in length and width, and were equipped with only minimal staff housing and support installations not meant for the victims crammed into the railway transports. The Nazis deceived the victims upon their arrival, telling them that they were at a temporary transit stop, and would soon continue to German Arbeitslagers work camps farther to the east.
Auschwitz, Majdanek, and Jasenovac were retrofitted with Zyklon-B gas chambers and crematoria buildings as the time went on, remaining operational until war's end in Heinrich Himmler visited the outskirts of Minsk in to witness a mass shooting.
He was told by the commanding officer there that the shootings were proving psychologically damaging to those being asked to pull the triggers. Thus Himmler knew another method of mass killing was required. The Nazis had first used gassing with carbon monoxide cylinders to kill 70, disabled people in Germany in what they called a 'euthanasia programme' to disguise that mass murder was taking place. Despite the lethal effects of carbon monoxide, this was seen as unsuitable for use in the East due to the cost of transporting the carbon monoxide in cylinders.
Each extermination camp operated differently, yet each had designs for quick and efficient industrialized killing. At Auschwitz clothes infested with lice were treated with crystallised prussic acid. The crystals were made to order by the IG Farben chemicals company for which the brand name was Zyklon-B.
Once released from their container, Zyklon-B crystals in the air released a lethal cyanide gas. Fritzsch tried out the effect of Zyklon B on Soviet POWs, who were locked up in cells in the basement of the bunker for this experiment. Besides gassing, the camp guards continued killing prisoners via mass shooting, starvation, torture, etc.
He recounted that, on 19 August , he arrived at Belzec extermination camp which was equipped with carbon monoxide gas chambers and was shown the unloading of 45 train cars filled with 6, Jews, many already dead.
The rest were marched naked to the gas chambers, where:. But it doesn't go. Captain Wirth comes up. I can see he is afraid, because I am present at a disaster. Yes, I see it all and I wait. My stopwatch showed it all, 50 minutes, 70 minutes, and the diesel [engine] did not start. The people wait inside the gas chambers. In vain. They can be heard weeping, "like in the synagogue", says Professor Pfannenstiel, his eyes glued to a window in the wooden door.
Furious, Captain Wirth lashes the Ukrainian Trawniki assisting Hackenholt twelve, thirteen times, in the face. After 2 hours and 49 minutes — the stopwatch recorded it all — the diesel started.
Up to that moment, the people shut up in those four crowded chambers were still alive, four times persons, in four times 45 cubic meters. Another 25 minutes elapsed. Many were already dead, that could be seen through the small window, because an electric lamp inside lit up the chamber for a few moments.
After 28 minutes, only a few were still alive. Finally, after 32 minutes, all were dead Dentists [then] hammered out gold teeth, bridges, and crowns. In the midst of them stood Captain Wirth. He was in his element, and, showing me a large can full of teeth, he said: "See, for yourself, the weight of that gold!
It's only from yesterday, and the day before. You can't imagine what we find every day — dollars, diamonds, gold. You'll see for yourself! The "difficult" prisoners were led to a site out of view to be killed off discreetly.
A prisoner Sonderkommando Special Detachment effected in the processes of extermination; they encouraged the Jews to undress without a hint of what was about to happen. They accompanied them into the gas chambers outfitted to appear as shower rooms with nonworking water nozzles, and tile walls ; and remained with the victims until just before the chamber door closed.
To psychologically maintain the "calming effect" of the delousing deception, an SS man stood at the door until the end. The Sonderkommando talked to the victims about life in the camp to pacify the suspicious ones, and hurried them inside; to that effect, they also assisted the aged and the very young in undressing.
To further persuade the prisoners that nothing harmful was happening, the Sonderkommando deceived them with small talk about friends or relations who had arrived in earlier transports. Many young mothers hid their infants beneath their piled clothes fearing that the delousing "disinfectant" might harm them. Likewise, the Sonderkommando comforted older children who might cry "because of the strangeness of being undressed in this fashion".
Some women would suddenly "give the most terrible shrieks while undressing, or tear their hair, or scream like maniacs"; the Sonderkommando immediately took them away for execution by shooting. Once the door of the filled gas chamber was sealed, pellets of Zyklon B were dropped through special holes in the roof. Regulations required that the Camp Commandant supervise the preparations, the gassing through a peephole , and the aftermath looting of the corpses.
After the gassings, the Sonderkommando removed the corpses from the gas chambers, then extracted any gold teeth. Initially, the victims were buried in mass graves, but were later cremated during Sonderaktion in all camps of Operation Reinhard. The Sonderkommando were responsible for burning the corpses in the pits,  stoking the fires, draining surplus body fat and turning over the "mountain of burning corpses At Auschwitz, the corpses were incinerated in crematoria and the ashes either buried, scattered, or dumped in the river.
The efficiency of industrialised killing at Auschwitz-Birkenau led to the construction of three buildings with crematoria designed by specialists from the firm J. They burned bodies 24 hours a day, and yet the death rate was at times so high that corpses also needed to be burned in open-air pits. The estimated total number of people who were murdered in the six Nazi extermination camps is 2.
The Nazis attempted to either partially or completely dismantle the extermination camps in order to hide any evidence that people had been murdered there. This was an attempt to conceal not only the extermination process but also the buried remains. As a result of the secretive Sonderaktion , the camps were dismantled by commandos of condemned prisoners, their records were destroyed, and the mass graves were dug up.
Some extermination camps that remained uncleared of evidence were liberated by Soviet troops, who followed different standards of documentation and openness than the Western allies did.
Nonetheless Majdanek was captured nearly intact due to the rapid advance of the Soviet Red Army during Operation Bagration. In the post-war period the government of the People's Republic of Poland created monuments at the extermination camp sites. These early monuments mentioned no ethnic, religious, or national particulars of the Nazi victims. The extermination camps sites have been accessible to everyone in recent decades. In the early s, the Jewish Holocaust organisations debated with the Polish Catholic groups about "What religious symbols of martyrdom are appropriate as memorials in a Nazi death camp such as Auschwitz?
The March of the Living is organized in Poland annually since Holocaust deniers or negationists are people and organizations who assert that the Holocaust did not occur, or that it did not occur in the historically recognized manner and extent. However, these theories are disproven by surviving German documents, which show that Jews were sent to the camps to be killed.
Extermination camp research is difficult because of extensive attempts by the SS and Nazi regime to conceal the existence of the extermination camps. Astor, Maggie 12 April The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 April From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with concentration camp. View of Sobibor extermination camp , The Holocaust map: The six Nazi extermination camps set up by the SS in occupied Poland , are marked with white skulls in black squares.
See also: Nisko Plan. Fifty-two crematorium ovens, including these, were used to burn the bodies of up to 6, people every 24 hours during the operation of Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chambers. See also: Holocaust denial.