Endlösung and Death Camps
Why were people sent to the concentration camps?
As everyone knows, Adolf Hitler didn't like the Jews. So, eventually he wanted to exterminate them. They were sent to camps, called concentration camps. Concentration camps were divided into groups, death camps and work camps. The people who could work were sent to the work camps. Children under the 16, many woman and older people were directly sent to the death camps, killed by poisonous gas or other awful ways.
At first, the camps were used as prisons but later more and more people were put in there, and the conditions became worse than before.
The Jews, Gypsie and people that were against the Nazi were send to concentration camps, to work or either be tortured. They put them in these camps mostly because of their looks and religion. Different kinds of people were sent to different camps and had to do different works. In these categories the Jews were treated most badly. These camps were built to fit a lot of people, so the conditions were very bad, places were very crowded, people had to work very hard and they didn't get enough food to eat. They had many bunk beds to save room.
One of these concentration camps is Dachau. This camp was primarily a camp for men, homosexuals, Gypsy men, trade union leaders and other considered as 'enemies of the state' were sent to it. Most of the people were high-level opponents of the Nazi government. It was not particularly a camp for Jews, although there were Jewish prisoners in Dachau. A lot of medical experiments were performed on these helpless prisoners. Most people were released after participating on these experiments, but many people died or became injured after these terrible experiments.
How many people died at Dachau? Or survived?
Almost 200,000 prisoners entered Dachau, of which 25,613 died there. Of the 200,000 prisoners, almost two-thirds were political prisoners and nearly one-third were Jews. It isn't clear if al the remaining prisoners did survive, since most of them where sent to other concentration camps and might have died there. In comparison to other concentration camps, the number of deaths in Dachau wasn't so many. This is because Dachau wasn't a death camp, like Auschwitz, but it was a work camp. This meant that the prisoners were forced to work. They were only gassed or shot when they weren't able to work, for example, if they were to old or to young, if they had disabilities or when they were too ill to work.
The prisoners who had to be punished more seriously were sent to Auschwitz or to other death camps. Most of the people sent to Auschwitz didn't leave alive. Almost 900,000 prisoners were gassed soon after arrival, at least 200,000 worked themselves to death, or died of disease. Of the 405,000 registered prisoners only 65,000 left the camp alive. And of the 16,000 Soviet POW's, only 96 survived. It is believed that almost 1.6 million prisoners have been murdered in Auschwitz. Probably more prisoners have been murdered in Auschwitz, but haven't been registrated.
What did prisoners have to do?
So what did the prisoners have to do? The prisoners could be send to work camps or death camps, in the death camps they were obviously killed, they were killed in gas chambers or in other horrible ways.
Man older than 16 where send to work camps. In the work camps they had to work, they were forced to do heavy manual work, most of the time they worked until it became their death this was because: The working days were long normally 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week, the work they had to do was hard, they worked in inhuman conditions, received little food and they where lucky if they got a good tool like a shovel or a pickax, if they didn't get a tool they had to work with their bare hands. The Guards where watching you and you had to do everything as fast as possible, if you didn't work fast enough or stopped for a break you would be beaten and/or killed. The work was also often useless, for example moving sand from one place to another or carry heavy stones.
Some of the other jobs they had to do were: producing goods for the German soldiers, building roads, mining, digging trenches, metal working, cutting hair of the soldiers, building the barracks, working on installations some even had to make lamps or work in the shoe factory.
The women also had to work they had to clean houses of the high military people, make clothes and some where also used as hookers.
In some camps they also did medical experiments on the prisoners. This experiments often caused disease or death.
The health conditions in the camps where very bad, So many people died because they got ill.