Concentration Camps Of The Holocaust

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The Holocaust is the period of time between 1933 and 1945 when the Nazis persecuted and executed millions of Jews and other people seen as enemies of the state. The Holocaust was one of the most horrific slaughters of human life in the Second World War. Most of loss of life during the Holocaust took place in concentration camps. Concentration camps served different purposes; some camps were slave labor camps, some were transit camps, and others served as death camps. Even though there were many different types of camps, they all had one thing in common. Each camp was intolerably brutal to their innocent prisoners (Bard 15).
Buchenwald was one such camp. It was one of the largest concentration camps built within the old German borders.
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When Jews began being imprisoned, Buchenwald became an important source of forced labor for the German war effort. By the end of the war the number of prisoners increased to slightly over 100,00. The innocent prisoners faced terrible conditions working in any of Buchenwald’s 88 sub camps to help the German military: armament factories, stone quarries, workshops, munitions plants, and even in the personal mansion of the commanders of Buchenwald. Buchenwald also became a place of cruel medical experimentation for prisoners. Some physicians sought to cure the homosexual tendencies of the prisoners. Despite the many prisoners that died of exhaustion in the camp, Buchenwald was not as much a death camp as a work camp. It sent weak and disabled workers to “euthanasia facilities” to be executed. The few executions that occurred in Buchenwald were performed by lynching and firing squads (USHMM; Schmittroth and Rosteck …show more content…
In April 1945, US forces neared the camp. German troops began to evacuate the prisoners, many of whom died from exhaustion or were shot by the SS. On April 11, 1945, expecting the Allies to arrive shortly, prisoners stormed Buchenwald’s watchtowers and seized control of the camp. US forces arrived later that day and liberated Buchenwald. During its operational years, Buchewald had imprisoned around 250,000 innocent people from all over Europe. When the US military entered Buchenwald, it only found 21,000 people in the camp. Buchenwald was a horrendous camp; we can never be certain of the number of deaths that took place at Buchenwald because the Germans rarely recorded their prisoners. No matter how many innocent prisoners unfortunately died, the Germans committed a terrible, unjustifiable crime against humanity. It was wrong to persecute people for their beliefs, it was even worse to kill thousands of prisoners. The injustice and cruelty prisoners experienced behind Buchenwald’s gates should never be forgotten

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