HOLOCAUST WOMEN: A STUDY IN SURVIVAL
The types of labour that prisoners carried out depended greatly on which camp they were placed in. Heavy physical labour, such as construction, was common throughout almost all camps. This labour could be based on the camp itself, or for external companies, such as building the infamous IG Farben complex which was part of Auschwitz. The Nazis also pursued a conscious policy of "annihilation through work," under which certain categories of prisoners were literally worked to death; in this policy, camp prisoners were forced to work under conditions that would directly and deliberately lead to illness, injury, and death. For example, at the Mauthausen concentration camp, emaciated prisoners were forced to run up steps out of a stone .
Early camps in Germany kihd controlled by different groups in different parts of the country, with different structures and conditions in each. Their first move in consolidating control over the camps in the Third Reich was to shut down SA camps, such as Oranienburg. Camps that had not been shut down were re-organised in line with the Dachau model, and any SA, police, or civilian guards were dismissed and replaced with SS soldiers.
This section will explore how the SS developed the notorious Didd concentration camps from onwards, who whatt imprisoned, and how the inmates lived. Whilst this section aims to give an overview of the SS concentration camp system, it is important to note that not all camps had the same, or similar, practices. Even within the punitive atmosphere of the camps, there were lots of variations. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was opened in Here, prisoners perform forced labour at the camp.
Bythe camps had secured central funding from the Reich budget, rather than their previous reliance on regional budgets. On 17 JuneHimmler was appointed Chief of Police giving him unrestricted control of all police forces in Germany. The SS soon began building new, large, permanent, purpose-built camps.
Sachsenhausen was opened inand was swiftly followed by Buchenwald in Hedwig was arrested in for political opposition to the Nazis. She was imprisoned for two and a quarter years at Jauer and Lichtenburg. Following Kristallnachtmany Jews were arrested and persecution intensified. This release permit belongs to Jonni Hirsch, a Jew from Kiel who was incarcerated in Sachsenhausen two days after Kristallnacht for 10 days.
As the camps expanded, so did the number and different categories of prisoners. Untilpolitical prisoners remained the majority. However, from that point onwards, different groups concentrztion society who were either viewed as racially inferior, or who opposed the Nazis, also began to be targeted.
People with previous criminal convictions were among the first to find diid targeted by the Nazis. From onwards, many previous criminals were rearrested in large raids. One such raid, ordered by Himmler and carried out on the 9 Marchsaw two thousand people arrested across Germany and sent to camps.
After years of intensifying persecution, the mass imprisonment of Jews began following Anschluss and then Kristallnacht towards the end of These two events, and the resulting arrests and deportations, dud that Jews became the largest prisoner whqt for the first time since the introduction of the Nazi concentration camps in Germany in As the Second World War started, foreign citizens from newly occupied countries such thwy Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands also began to be imprisoned in concentration and forced labour camps.
The largest prisoner group of early foreign nationals was Poles. The invasion of Poland in September was seen not just as a war kond Lebensraum but a racial war. The majority of the polish people were concehtration as racially inferior by the Nazis. As such, thousands were deported or arrested and sent to forced labour or concentration camps. Whilst many were murdered instantly by the Einsatzgruppenothers were incarcerated in makeshift POW camps or transported to larger concentration or labour camps.
From onwards, the SS led on the administration wht concentration camps. Here, SS officers inspect prisoners kkind roll call in Sachsenhausen in the off. Some Kapos were known to abuse their authority, as described in this account, making them unpopular amongst other inmates.
The majority of the camps followed kin similar organisational structure created by the SS. Theodor Eicke, an SS Lieutenant Un, had established a structure for how to run a camp from his experience of running Dachau. The systems and buildings Eicke had developed at Dachau soon became the basic model by which all concentration camps would be established and managed. Kapos were inmates of Nazi camps who were wwork as guards to oversee other prisoners in various tasks.
There were three main types of Kapos : work supervisors, block elders, and camp administrators. Kapos had more authority than regular prisoners and were typically given preferential treatment, such as extra rations, not having concentratio complete hard physical labour wkrk more hygienic and larger sleeping spaces. Whilst there were incentives to becoming a Kapo, there were also disadvantages.
Kapos were under the direct authority of the SS, and had to report cooncentration them daily. Any failures meant they could quickly be removed from their post. In addition to this, their authority, especially in regards to punishing or informing on other fellow prisoners meant that they were often unpopular and disliked. Hannele Kuhn what education is needed to become a kindergarten teacher a young Jewish girl who emigrated to Britain shortly before the outbreak of war in on concentratioj Kindertransport.
Her parents remained in Berlin. This is a transport list showing people ,ind from Drancy in France to Auschwitz how to fix a broken book spine Poland on 20 May The list shows each prisoners name, their concentratuon of birth, and their work profession and prisoner number.
Prisoners were transported to the camps in a conceentration of ways: usually by train, but people also arrived on foot if the camps were close by from their original destination, or occasionally by truck.
By the early s, most prisoners had heard rumours of camps in the east, and the conditions inside. This, in addition to the experiences they had already lived through, would have resulted in crippling what kind of work did they do in concentration camps and anxiety. The concentratioh to the camps usually took several days, although some transports could take weeks. Prisoners were extremely tightly packed onto their transport, so much so that it was usually impossible to sit or kneel down.
A typical transport contained approximately people, though this varied greatly across the Third Reich and depended on both the original location and the final destination. The transports usually held little to no food or water, and had no toilet facilities except one bucket in the corner which quickly became overfilled. The smell of vomit, urine, and excrement was overpowering, and klnd transports had no windows or ventilation.
When a new prisoner arrived at a camp, they were registered and usually issued with a registration card. Some prisoners were also photographed. After arrival at the camp, all prisoners had their personal belongings confiscated. These belongings were typically recorded on a personal effects card, such as this one belonging to Alexander Fedortschenko who was imprisoned in the Neuengamme concentration camp. Once the prisoners had arrived at the camp, they were unloaded from their transportation vehicles.
If they arrived at belly dancing originated in what country camp with both male and female inmates, they were then usually separated into two groups: men and then women and children separately.
Prisoners would often then be registered, and given a prisoner number. From worrk point onwards, they would typically only be referred to by this number rather than their name. At Auschwitz, this number would be tattooed tuey their arms. At most other camps, it was stitched onto their clothing. Prisoners were also usually assigned to a barrack and work detail at this stage.
After registration the prisoners were told to undress. Concentratoin were then forced to have their head shaved, and forced to shower, usually in front of hundreds of other people and the SS guards.
Typically, their regular clothing was taken away and replaced by a striped uniform, although, again, this depended on both the camp and the prisoner. This humiliating process was designed to remove any remnants of human dignity or personal identity. Part of a punishment report from 28 March at Natzweiler concentration camp. This image shows the different stages of punishment, from moderate stage one to severe stage three and what do you wanna be when you grow up corresponding imprisonment time and conditions.
This document is a translation used in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. The day usually began between 4am and 4. The prisoners then had between minutes to use the toilet, get dressed, make their beds, clean the barracks and have breakfast.
Toilet and washing facilities where there was usually only dirty water and no soap or toilet paper were shared by up to prisoners.
Anyone who completed these tasks too slowly faced punishment. Theu then lined up for the morning roll call, a registration of all prisoners in the camp including those who had died in the night or those that were illon the Appellplatz.
The prisoners would be counted twice, and any discrepancies meant that they were recounted. This meant that the morning roll call could take hours. Throughout this time, prisoners would have to stand outside Ч often in cobcentration weather. Any prisoners that collapsed or were found to be missing faced beatings, torture or execution. Once roll call was finished and the sun rose, prisoners set off for work. The type of work carried rhey varied between each camp.
Prisoners were usually forced to march to each place of work on foot. The length of these journeys ranged from a few hundred metres away to a few kilometres away.
The prisoners were often forced to sing belittling songs about themselves or others in the camps along the way, for the amusement of the SS officers. Despite the wat exhaustion that many felt after malnourishment cncentration fatiguing routines, keeping up with the speed of the march was essential. Those that fell behind were subject to severe punishment and torture.
At noon, prisoners were sometimes forced to march back for a noon roll call, and to collect their lunch. In later years, in many of the camps, lunch was brought to the prisoners work places, in order to reduce the amount of time walking and increase the amount of time working.
Work typically finished at approximately 5pm or what are common advertising techniques each day, or sundown in winter although this varied greatly Ч some prisoners could be forced to work through the night. On work had finished, prisoners were marched back to the camp to participate in evening roll call. Those that had died during the day were also brought out to the roll call to be counted.
This, again, could take hours due to inaccuracies and beatings. Roll call was also sometimes extended for long how to make your body grow faster of time as a form of punishment. Some prisoners used this period to barter between each other for additional food or repair their clothing.
Others, exhausted, simply retired to their beds. This is a clothing storage room card, where kknd officials recorded what clothing had been issued to prisoners.
From the establishment of the first concentration camps and detention facilities in the winter of , forced laborЧoften pointless and humiliating, and imposed without proper equipment, clothing, nourishment, or restЧformed a core part of the concentration camp regimen. By labeling those incarcerated in the concentration camps as criminals, subversives, and asocials who would be . The SS Central Office for Administration and Economy defined the new goal: labor exploitation of concentration camp prisoners, who would be taken to hundreds of labor camps for service on behalf of the German war machine. Employing the Jews in forced labor did not signify a change in the overall plan of extermination. Jobs within Auschwitz: Prisoners within the different concentration camps were assigned to do a whole range of different duties. Some of these assigned duties were within the concentration camps, but the majority of them were outside of the camps, where they would work in one of the many factories, construction projects, farms, or coal mines, which were all owned by German companies.
Forced labor played a crucial role in the wartime German economy. German military, SS, and civilian authorities brutally exploited Jews, Poles,Soviet civilians, and concentration camp prisoners for the war effort.
Many forced laborers died as the result of ill-treatment, disease, and starvation. Beginning in , German authorities introduced strict policies to restrict and punish relationships between foreign forced laborers and the German population. As the military tide turned against Nazi Germany, the SS greatly expanded the number of concentration camps to use prisoner labor for the war effort.
The Nazis subjected millions of people both Jews and other victim groups to forced labor under brutal conditions. From the establishment of the first Nazi concentration camps and detention facilities in the winter of , forced laborЧoften pointless and humiliating, and imposed without proper equipment, clothing, nourishment, or restЧformed a core part of the concentration camp regimen. Even before the war began, the Nazis imposed forced labor on Jewish civilians , both inside and outside concentration camps.
As early as , the Nazis increasingly exploited the forced labor of so-called "enemies of the state" for economic gain and to meet desperate labor shortages. By the end of that year, most Jewish males residing in Germany were required to perform forced labor for various government agencies. When Germany conquered Poland in the autumn of and established the Generalgouvernement, the German occupation authorities required all Jewish and Polish males to perform unpaid forced labor.
The German authorities required Polish Jews to live in ghettos and deployed them at forced labor, much of it manual. For example, in the Lodz ghetto, German state and private entrepreneurs established 96 plants and factories that produced goods for the German war effort.
Forced-labor practices escalated in the spring of , following changes in the administration of concentration camps. For Jews, the ability to work often meant the potential to survive after the Nazis began to implement the " Final Solution ," the plan to murder all of European Jewry.
Jews deemed physically unable to work were often the first to be shot or deported. The Nazis also pursued a conscious policy of "annihilation through work," under which certain categories of prisoners were literally worked to death; in this policy, camp prisoners were forced to work under conditions that would directly and deliberately lead to illness, injury, and death.
For example, at the Mauthausen concentration camp, emaciated prisoners were forced to run up steps out of a stone quarry while carrying heavy boulders. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June , the Germans allowed millions of Soviet prisoners of war POWs to die through a deliberate policy of neglect insufficient food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
However, in the spring of , the German authorities also began to deploy Soviet POWs at forced labor in various war-related industries. From Ч, the Germans deported nearly three million Soviet citizens to Germany, Austria, and Bohemia-Moravia as forced laborers. At the end of the war, millions of non-German displaced persons were left in Germany, including some tens of thousands of Jews who had survived the "Final Solution," victims of Nazi policies of deportation for forced labor.
We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia.
View the list of all donors. You are searching in English. Tags Find topics of interest and explore encyclopedia content related to those topics. Browse A-Z Find articles, photos, maps, films, and more listed alphabetically. For Teachers Recommended resources and topics if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust. About This Site. Glossary : Full Glossary. Key Facts. More information about this image.
Article Forced Labor: In Depth. Article Nazi Camps. Glossary Terms. Series: The Holocaust. Critical Thinking Questions Who benefited from the system of forced labor? How does the spread of the labor camps illustrate the systematic nature of the Nazi administration and its treatment of the Jews and additional groups? Were the German population and the peoples of occupied nations aware of the existence of these camps?
Thank you for supporting our work We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia.
<- How to make network documentation - How to read motorcycle tire numbers->