11 April 2023

What is a concentration camp? – Concept, characteristics and objectives

By Donald

A concentration camp is that place where groups of people who differ in the ideologies of the government in power are held indefinitely. Whether in terms of their politics, their religious beliefs, their sexual orientation, or because they are refugees, prisoners of war or heads of opposition parties. In other words, in the concentration camps people were imprisoned not for their individual acts, but for the fact that they belong to certain groups.

It should be noted that concentration camps, contrary to general belief, were not born during the first or second world war. If not, the concentration camps are known for the first time in 1880 during the second Boer war in South Africa and were used between the army of the English empire and the Dutch settlers.

It must also be remembered that, during the 10-year war, from 1869 to 1879, the Spanish Empire created camps on the island of Cuba, a situation that was imitated by the United States in 1899 during the war against the Philippines. These internment sites became normal during conflicts in any part of the world, but the greatest resonance was reached during the Second World War due to the atrocities that were committed there. Above all, in the Nazi camps, this unfortunate episode went down in contemporary history as the Holocaust, which means “all burned” or “total fire”.

Definition and concept of a concentration camp

The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines for us in a simple way what is meant by a concentration camp. When determining that it is a: “Fenced enclosure for inmates, especially political prisoners and prisoners of war, generally isolated from urban centers.” We then have that a concentration camp is used to retain a group of people belonging to a collective. Mainly, they are political prisoners, prisoners of war, or people with certain religious ideologies, political or sexual.

What was the purpose of the concentration camps?

To talk about the purpose of the creation of the concentration camps. It is necessary to know that the word Nazi comes from the German Nationalzocialismus which actually andIt was an exacerbated ultranationalism. On the other hand, they took it upon themselves to establish ghettos.

Now, despite the fact that all Nazi camps were known as concentration camps, there were different types whose purposes were different, having then the transit, concentration, work and extermination camps. The transit camps had the sole purpose of distributing the prisoners to their respective assigned destination. Concentration camps were similar to prisons, with the difference that the treatment of prisoners from the guards it was brutalsavage and inhuman.

In the labor camps they forcibly recruited people, who were forced to work looking for the productivity of the Nazi machine, it was similar to the slavery of people. Finally, and the worst camp of all, was the extermination camp, where no inmate came out alive, after being brutally and inhumanly used, and after go whole days without eatinghad as their final destination: death.

What are the characteristics of concentration camps?

concentration camps are facilities designed to detain and incarcerate to large groups of people, were characterized mainly by being a great distance from cities. In turn, these fields had certain common characteristics, such as the following.

The fields were divided into sorts of sheds, some of which were used as bedrooms. Others to install laboratories that functioned as “hospitals.” But the reality was that they used the prisoners as guinea pigs for experiments, the results of which, in most cases, it was death.

Two or three buildings used to be left, where at first those prisoners who, due to their age, illness or condition, represented a burden to the state, were euthanized. Then the famous gas chambers were installed, where executions exceeded a thousand people per day, especially during the Holocaust. The facilities were surrounded by barbed wire, high voltage cables, huge walls, hundreds of guards with the order to shoot to kill, and hunting dogs.

As a result of the large number of people crowded together in deplorable conditions that originated the appearance of vectors such as rats and mosquitoes. The spread of various diseases began, such as tularemia (rat fever) caused by the bacterium fracisella tularensis, malaria. G.ran variety of diseases caused by aedes aegypti, and others.

Torture and abuse characterized much of these concentration centers, as prisoners were subjected to brutality by camp officials. These abuses could include beatings, rape, electrocution, and other brutal methods. The prisoners of the concentration camps used to suffer from dehydration and malnutrition, causing their death. Finally, it is important to highlight that the prisoners were deprived of their basic human rights, such as the right to life, liberty and dignity.

What is a concentration camp homicide?

In the concentration camps they acted with all premeditation and treachery, practicing mass homicides. In these places, prisoners could be killed in different ways. Some were shot, hanged, stabbed, drowned in gas chambers, or subjected to cruel and inhumane medical experiments. Similarly, a large number of prisoners died from disease, dehydration and malnutrition, and from a lack of necessary medical attention. These people were treated inhumanely. But the homicide in a concentration camp was part of a systematic policy of extermination and genocide. perpetrated by the Nazis.

Main concentration camps of Nazi Germany

During the Second World War, around 25,000 concentration camps were built in Germany and in the countries invaded by the Nazis. Among the most important we have: Auschwitz, located 60 kilometers from Krakow (Polish territory), it was a complex that contained at least 40 internment camps, it was the largest and the most highly organized. It was located in an old military base, and according to statistics, in the 5 years of the camp’s existence, it housed more than 1,300,000 prisoners, of whom more than 90 percent died.

Another of the Nazi camps with great importance was the Mauthausen camp, which was located near Linz in Austria. This was not as big as Auschwitz, but it had great importance for the Reich, since it was the exclusive place where all the intellectuals, businessmen, and the highest wealthy class of the Jewish religion were sent, with the sole purpose of being sent to Auschwitz. exterminated. In the same way, it is remembered as a Spanish compound, since all the people of that nationality who were captured in France were sent there. Fleeing from the Spanish Civil War.

The Dachau camp did not house a large number of prisoners, but it is remembered for its merciless torture. It is estimated that more than 70 percent of the prisoners were murdered. It was a field born with German nationalism, that enclosure served to house gypsies, homosexuals, Jews. During the war, it was also a hostel for all prisoners of war, especially the Russians, who were cruelly tortured and soon after murdered. More than 4,000 soldiers died in the Dachau camp Soviets.

There was also the Sachsenhausen camp, located in eastern Germany. This served as a repository for intellectual writers not attached to the Reich, as well as politicians, opponents and Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is estimated that on this site more than 30,000 people diedof which 13,000 died from malnutrition.

Other concentration camps in the world

In the first place, there are 10 concentration camps for the Japanese in the United States, this happened during the Second World War after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbol, therefore, these camps were intended to prevent acts of espionage. In Italy there was also a single concentration camp, whose purpose was the elimination of prisoners of war and civilians. Finally, it is worth mentioning that, in Venezuela, during the government of Pérez Jiménez, the Island of Guasina was used as a concentration camp, whose prisoners, as in all camps, They were treated inhumanely.