holocaust, jewish, extermination, concentration camp, shoah, auschwitz, belzec, treblinka, monowitz, birkenau, night of the long knives,
deportations, judenrat, majdanek, westerbork, chelmno, vught, wannsee, theresienstadt, roma, sinti, night of the broken glass, extermination camps, nazi´s,
hitler, jews, diaspora, jewish council, judenrat, transportation, birkenau, ghetto, hans vanderwerff, sion soeters, aktion reinhard, terezin, himmler, david irving
holocaust denial, holocaust lest we forget, jews, synagogue, oswald pohl, odilo globocnik, deportations, judenrat, majdanek, westerbork, chelmno, vught,
wannsee, theresienstadt, roma, sinti, night of the broken glass, extermination camps, nazi´s, hitler, jews, diaspora, jewish council, judenrat, transportation,
birkenau, ghetto, hans vanderwerff, sion soeters, aktion reinhard, terezin, himmler, david irving, holocaust denial, holocaust lest we forget, jews, synagogue,
oswald pohl, siegfried seidl, protectorate, bohemia, moravia, murmelstein, karl rahm, anton burger, karl hermann frank,
A Vernichtungslager - extermination camp consisted of a complex of barracks, gas chambers, cre- matoria, and work centers specifically built for mass annihilation of undesired persons in Germany and in the conquered territories who were considered to be a threat to the Third Reich. For the most part these victims were Jews. But they also included Roma and Sinti - a.k.a. Gypsies, alleged mental defectives, some Slavic races, and other minorities. The major death camps, all located in Poland, were Auschwitz II - a.k.a. Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka. At its peak, Birkenau, the most notorious of all the extermination camps, housed over 100,000 people. Each gas chamber and crematorium, there were five, accommodated approximately two thousand victims at one time. In a day, 12,000 could be gassed and incinerated. Some able-bodied inmates initially were used in industrial slave labor battalions or in the task of genocide itself until they were virtually worked to death or knew too much and needed to be silenced. These unfortunate victims were exterminated also. Indeed, few victims are on record to ever have escaped or outlive these horror centers.
In contrast to an extermination camp, a concentration camp was an internment center for political prisoners and members of persecuted minority groups. Usually the reason given for incarceration was that of exploitation, state security, or punishment. This was imposed by executive decree or military order. People were incarcerated on the basis of identification with a particular ethnic or political group rather than as individuals. In general this was accomplished without indictment or without the benefit of a fair trial. Concentration camps should not be looked upon as prisons. In the latter, people were locked up who were, in most cases, lawfully convicted of a crime. They were to be distinguished too from refugee camps, detention and relocation centers to accommodate displaced persons, and POW camps in which captured military personnel supposedly were held in accordance with the laws of the Geneva convention.
All Nazi concentration camps were the liability of the administration of the SS. The only camp in the Netherlands that qualified as such was Vught. Others were transit camp Westerbork, Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort, Internment camp Schoorl and Penal camp Ommen. These camps were not administered by the SS, nevertheless these too were places of horror and despair. Sent to one of these camps sent chills down the spines of the many thousands of inmates who passed through these gates of Hell. Each of the camps in Holland will be dealt with separately.
You can see a photo presentaton of our visit to Auschwitz and Auschwitz Birkenau in March 2008 by following the link:
Auchwitz-Birkenau photo presentation