Lecture on German-Nazi Concentration and Death Camps for 200 Medical University students in Cracow. March 30th, 2012.
Nazi Concentration Camps:
- Name taken from the British Concentration Camps from the Second Anglo-Boer war.
- After “Reichstag fire” establishment of “Sondergerichte” to promote political terror. An estimated number of 70.000 German nationals were executed under this low till 1945.
- March 1933 Dachau as the first Nazi Camp for political prisoners in Germany.
- In 1934 the Camp are given under the SS command.
- Headquarters in Oranienburg.
Next camps being established:
Sachsenhausen – 1936
Buchenwald – 1937
Mauthausen – 1938
Flossenbürg – 1938
Ravensbrück – 1939 (for women)
It is estimated that before 1939 there were 165-170 thousands of prisoners sentenced for different period of stay in the Nazi Concentration Camps.
General Plan East – Generalplan Ost
Major Concentration Camps established:
Stutthof – August 1939
Auschwitz – May 1940
Neuengamme – June 1940
Natzweiler-Struthof – July 1940
Gross-Rosen – August 1940
Bergen-Belsen – October 1940
Majdanek – October 1941
Hertogenbosch – January 1942
Ryga – Kaiserwald - May 1943
Mittelbau-Dora – December 1943
Confusing German camp naming to hide their actual functions: Konzentrationslager, Arbeitslager, Vernichtungslager, Sonderkommando SS, Zwangsarbeitslager, Aufenthaltslagers, Durchgangslager, Transitlager, Schutzhaftlager, Familienlager, Internierungslager etc.
During the war the Camps were operating under the administration of:
- Reich Main Security Office (RSHA-Reichssicherheitshauptamt),
- Main SS Economic and Administrative Department (SS-WVHA-Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt),
- Inspector of the Concentration Camps (Fuhrungs-und Aufsichtshauptamt – Inspektion der Konzentrationslager), from March 3rd 1942 r. became part of SS-WVHA as Amtsgruppe D. Konzentrationslager.
Major types of Camps Established:
- Konzentrationslager – Concentration Camps – known also as KZ-ets. Major, complex institutions with usually multiple sub-camps and working commandos.
- Arbeitslager – compulsory labor camps.
Project RIESE Camps. Treblinka I , Pustkow, Szebnie.
- Kriegsgefangenenlager – various POW camps also called “oflags”, “stalags” or “dulags”. Very often makeshift and primitively organized especially for the Soviet POW’s.
Soviet POW in the Camps – 5,7 million of inmates with 2,8 million estimated casualties.
- Police Prisons – places of investigations, transit and executions.
Fort VII in Poznan, Pawiak in Warsaw, Montelupi Prison Cracow.
- Germanization Centers – institutions mainly for young Slavic children to be Germanized and then adopted into German families.
Potulice, Kinder KZ Lodz.
- Resettlement and Transitory Camps – camps used massively in German-Nazi racial cleansing policy by the means of deportation and extermination.
- Vernichtungslager – Death Camps – organized only for the extermination of Polish and European Jewry.