Concentration Camps “l believe in the sun even when it is not shining; I believe in love when I cannot feel it; I believe in God even when he is silent” (Hale, 106). Considering this quote was written in a concentration camp, it is very remarkable because hope was rare in concentration camps. They were not gloomy. This quote was extremely powerful and gave people in concentration camps hope and faith. The term concentration camp refers to a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions. In these terrifying concentration camps, people could also be confined, without observation and custody.
Auschwitz was one of the worse concentration camps in the Holocaust. Auschwitz was the largest, subordinate concentration camp. Concentration camps such as Auschwitz, was a terrible killing technique that Hitler used during the Holocaust because people were tortured, forced to do work, and killed with gas chambers. During the Holocaust period, in concentration camps people were treated horribly. They were tortured in many ways. Some ways were by lethal injection, executions, hangings, and rape. Lethal injection is an injection administered for the purpose of Euthanasia or as capital punishment.
It was also the practice of killing a person using lethal dosages of drugs. Physicians in Nazi Germany initially used lethal injection in the course of the Nazi euthanasia program against the countrys physically and intellectually disabled children in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. Lethal injection was held in an environment that resembled a shower. Babies, small children, and Germans with disabilities were killed by lethal injection. Some inmates would also be taken from the medical institution and be put to death. One execution the Nazis were known for most was mass shootings.
Mass shootings id not take place in the prisoner of war camps or immediate area. They were held in the courtyards. The inmates were shot to death in pits near the camp where gravel had been dug. Before a single person was shot to death, they were forced to dig their own grave, and then shot until they fell in their grave. The inmates were shot in trenches. Mass shootings weren’t public like hangings were. If you were captured or arrested that would that would lead to an execution without warning. Committing crimes would lead to hangings.
Sometimes those who did not commit a crime could also be hung as well. Hangings were public. They were carried out in front of other prisoners, usually during roll call. The goal of public hangings was to intimidate the witnesses. The victims were most frequently prisoners caught trying to escape or were suspected of aiding escape. Some Jewish women were raped by the Nazi guards within the camp and even outside the camp. Certain individual camps and certain areas within concentration camps were designated specifically for female prisoners.
In May 1939, the SS (Schutzstaffel which, translated literally, means Protective Squad) opened Ravensbr??ck, the largest Nazi concentration camp stablished for women. Forced labor during the Holocaust was very enforced. There were many types of forced labor but three different forced labor were; the Sonderkommando, Kanada Kommand, and Krupp. The Sonderkomman do were Jews who were forced to work in concentration camps found at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor, Treblinka, MaJdanek, and Belzec. The Sonderkommando were forced to do task that can only repulse.
Yet, the Jobs were simple to do- clear gas chambers, dispose of the dead bodies, remove gold teeth from victims, and work in the crematoriums, basically everything they were told to do they did so. The Kanada Kommando would collect belongings of victims and took them to the Kanada warel facility for sorting and transporting to Germany. The Krupp workers were makers of washing machines, coffee makers and the Nazi gas chambers. Krupp used over 70,000 people as slave labor in factories. A plant was also operated inside Auschwitz concentration camp. The prisoners that were workers got treated better than the regular inmates.
They lived in barracks away from the prisoner complex. Also they could take extra food and an extra pair of clothing to protect themselves from severe winter weather. The Nazis began experimenting with poison gas in late 1939 with the killing of mental patients. The systematic murdering of humans through gas during the Nazi rule was introduced for the first time from January 1940. In the area of “Euthanasia,” the extermination of the lives “not worthy to live,” this included: handicap, mental patients, and the terminally ill were considered. A gas chamber is an execution where a poisonous gas is introduced into a sealed room.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) were the two agents used in gas chambers. Carbon Monoxide was piped from gas cylinders that were located in eparate rooms beside the gas chambers while the hydrogen cyanide was delivered by a company called Degesch. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide wasn’t satisfying the Nazi, so they continuously searched for a more efficient extermination. The Nazis soon discovered Zyklon B, whitish-blue crystals sealed in cans, originally used as an insecticide for delousing clothes in Auschwitz.
In 1942, mass killing in gas chambers began at Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, located in Poland. Victims were unloaded and told they had to be “disinfected” in “showers,”when really they were going to a gas chamber. To avoid panic, gas hambers were camouflaged as bathrooms, signs were installed, fake plumbing was added, and fake showers were installed in the ceilings. Sometimes the guards would even hand the victims a piece of soap. The prisoners were forced to enter naked with raised arms that allowed more room for more people. Babies were thrown on top of the crowd.
The reason the Nazis wanted to fit as many people in gas chambers was because the poisonous gas produced a quicker, deadlier effect if as little air as possible was in a chamber. Once everyone is in the chamber, the personnel closes the doors and exhaust the poisonous gas into the air. Auschwitz concentration camp was a complex camp and was the largest concentration camp established by the Nazi regime. Auschwitz differs from other concentration camps because it consisted of three main camps which deployed incarcerated prisoners at forced labor. The three concentration camps were; Auschwitz l, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Auschwitz- Monnowitz.
They were built near the Polish city of Oswiecim. Auschwitz was the main camp. The first camp established near Oswiecim. Construction began May 1940 in an abandoned Polish army artillery barracks located in the suburbs of the city. Auschwitz was the concentration camp for “enemies of the Reich” who were political or opponents of the Nazis. Auschwitz mainly wanted to serve three purposes: to incarcerate real and perceived enemies of the Nazi regime, to have an available supply of forced laborers for deployment and to serve as a site to physically eliminate small targeted groups of the population.
Auschwitz had a gas chamber and crematorium. Later a larger permanent gas chamber was constructed as part of the original crematorium in a separate building outside the prisoner compound. Construction of Auschwitz-Birkenau began in the vicinity of Brzezinka in October 941. Auschwitz-Birkenau had the largest total prisoner population, which was divided into more than a dozen sections with electric barbed wire fences separating them. Just like Auschwitz l, Auschwitz II was patrolled by SS guards. The sections were for women, men, a family camp for Roma (gypsies), and a family camp for Jewish families.
Facilities for a killing center was also in Auschwitz II. Four large crematorium buildings were constructed between March and June 1943. A disrobing area, large gas chambers, and crematorium ovens were three components. Auschwitz-Monowice as constructed in October 1942 to prisoners assigned to work the rubber works on the outskirts of Monowice. Auschwitz Ill also had a so-called labor education camp for non-Jewish prisoners who were perceived to have violated German-imposed labor discipline. Auschwitz inmates were employed on huge farms.
They were forced to work in coal mines, stone quarries, and armaments industries such as the SS German Equipment work. Prisoners selected for forced labor were registered and had to be tattooed with identification numbers on their left arms, then they were assigned to forced labor at a main camp somewhere else in the complex. l stare at the piles of glasses, hair, shoes, prayer shawls and dolls, and try to imagine the individual Jews and others to whom they belonged to,” said Secretary – General Ban Ki.
Ban Ki was a man who took a visit to Auschwitz memorial to pay a tribute to Holocaust victims. Ban Ki laid flowers at the executions wall, where thousands of inmates were shot. “l stand in disbelief before the gas chambers and crematorium- and shudder at the cruelty who designed this death factory,” said Ban. This statement was really significant because it brought so much hurt and disbelief to someone who wasn’t involved in the Holocaust as it would to anyone else. Just by reading this quote you can tell the lives of the inmates were horrible and sad.
Inmates in concentration camps went through hell, but the quote “l believe in the sun even when it is not shining; I believe in love when I cannot feel it; I believe in God even when he is silent” demonstrate that a few kept their faith and trust in God. Their treatment was cruel. No one deserves to be treated the way those innocent people were or be forced to work. Works Cited Auschwitz. ” Auschwitz, Nazi Death Camp. N. P. , n. d. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.. “Gassing Victims in the Holocaust: Background & Overview. Background & Overview of Gassing Victims.
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