• The history and actual facts of the

    Concentration- and deathcamps

    Remember the victims and the survivors

In honor of the people of WWII

What is a concentration camp?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the term concentration camp as: "A camp where persons are confined, usually without hearings and typically under harsh conditions, often as a result of their membership in a group which the government has identified as dangerous or undesirable.The term "concentration camp" or "internment camp" is used to refer to a variety of systems that greatly differ in their severity, mortality rate, and architecture; their defining characteristic is that inmates are held outside the rule of law. Extermination camps or death camps, whose primary purpose is killing, are also imprecisely referred to as "concentration camps". The Universal Declaration of Human Rights restricts the use of internment, with Article 9 stating, "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. "

Concentration camps were not part of the Holocaust

This is something most people are not aware of but the concentration camps cannot be equated with the Holocaust and were basically "just" a means of carrying out the Holocaust. This is because sometimes Jews were sent to concentration camps for work only. There are strong interactions and overlaps between the Holocaust and concentration camps because they coexcisted. Concentration camps are in most peoples’ minds equal to the Holocaust, which is fully understandable but not historically correct.

When did the first concentration camp become operational?

After the success for the NSDAP of the elections in July 1932, Hitler was not immediately appointed chancellor, despite being leader of the largest party in the Reichstag. But the economic and political instability in Germany and with the help of the conservative elite, Hindenburg was persuaded to appoint Hitler as the new chancellor of Germany. So on January 30 1933, when Hitler was sworn in, the Nazis were in power.

The first concentration camp Dachau, opened on 22 March 1933 and was initially intended to hold political opponents of Hitler which consisted of: communists, social democrats, and other dissidents.The concentration camp system arose in the following months due to the desire to suppress tens of thousands of Nazi opponents in Germany. Over 1.000 concentration camps (including subcamps) were established during the history of Nazi Germany. Initially, most prisoners of the first concentration camps were members of the Communist Party of Germany. But as time went by different groups were also arrested and prosecuted including 'criminals', 'anti-socials' and Jews. Basically anyone who was labelled: 'Enemy of the Third Reich'.

Many of the former camps have been turned into museums commemorating the victims of the Nazi regime.

Dachau, the first concentration camp

The SS gains leadership of the concentration camps

The SS became independed from the SA in July 1934. Following the Night of Long Knives also called the Röhm purge or Operation Hummingbird (the 'elemination' of the high ranking officers of the SA by members of the SS), the concentration camps were put under command of the SS and run exclusively via the Concentration Camps Inspectorate and later the SS Main Economic and Administrative Office. Hitler then authorized SS leader Heinrich Himmler to centralize the administration of the concentration camps and formalize them into a system. Himmler chose SS Lieutenant General Theodor Eicke for this task. Eicke had been the commandant of the SS concentration camp at Dachau since June 1933. Himmler appointed him Inspector of Concentration Camps, a new section of the SS subordinate to the SS Main Office.

A yellow Star of David with the word Jood, the Dutch word for Jew
A Star of David

On April 29, 1942 there was again a new regulation in the Dutch newspapers, article 45 of regulation no. 138/1941. Wearing of the Star of David became mandatory. The badge consisted of a black drawn six-pointed star made of yellow fabric with the text (in the national language) in black letters 'Jew'. The star served to identify Jews, as well as the stamp with the letter J in their ID. The Star of David was to be worn visibly and firmly on the left side at chest level of the garment.


How many concentration camps existed?
The SS Skull and Bones the most feared symbolf of WW2
From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany operated more than a thousand concentration camps on its own territory and in parts of German-occupied Europe all were run exclusively by the SS.

What is Zkylon B?
An empty can of Zyklon B. The hydrogen gas which came out of the pellets was used to murder people in concentration camps

A can of Zyklon B. Zyklon B (The B stands for the German word Blausäure which means hydrogen cyanide) was a pesticide initially used in the concentration camps for delousing clothes and to fight typhus outbreaks. Zyklon B was supplied by the German companies Degesch (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung GmbH) and Tesch & Stabenow, under license from patent holder IG Farben. It was used to kill millions of people by gassing.

Nazi concentration and exterminationcamps

This is an ongoing project, more concentration camps will be added in the near future.

This website is made out of respect for the victims, the civilians and the veterans of WWII. It generates no financial gain what so ever and it is merely a platform to educate the visitor about WWII.


The personal stories on this website are under copyright of the veterans themselves and the families or people who gave the stories to me. Pictures used on this webiste are owned by the veterans who made them or by whomever made the pictures/videos (mostly these images are in the public domain and can be freely used). Also bits of texts have been used with no harmful intent in any way.

If you are the owner of any picture(s) or fragments of texts that you wish to remove from this website please contact me. But I ask you to look at the nature of the website and it's goal, educating the viewer about WW2.

A big THANK YOU to the United States Army Center of Military History for their help in providing the input for these pages. All pages on this website are constantly being refitted with acurate data and texts and it is an ongoing process.



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