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Rise of Hitler
Hitler's Secret

Concentration Camps

A brief history of a few of the camps.


Cattle Car of Holocaust Victims


  • Established: March 1933
  • 67,665 registered prisoners
  • Liberation: April 26,1945


  • Location: Poland
  • Established: June 14, 1940
  • Liberation: January 27, 1945, Red Army soldiers liberated the few thousand prisoners whom the Germans had left behind


  • Location: Weimar
  • Established: 1937
  • Liberation: April 11, 1945 by the U.S. Army
  • Estimated number of victims: about 56,000



Auschwitz Concentration Camp

There were two types of camps under the Nazi's rule. The slave labor concentration camps where inmates were placed under harsh working conditions and starvation. The others were the actual death camps whose sole purpose was for the annihilation of the Jewish population and any other "enemy" of the Nazis. 

Between 1933 and 1936 thousands of people mostly political prisoners, German Gypsies and Jehovah's Witnesses were sent to concentration camps. But it was not until after Kristallnacht, that 30,000 Jewish men were deported to Dachau and other concentration camps. 

On September 1, 1939 Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. Thousands of Poles including Jews were imprisoned in concentration camps. As the War began in 1939 Hitler ordered the killing of institutionalized, handicapped patients deemed "incurable". After public protest the Nazi continued the "euthanasia" program in secret. The euthanasia program contained all the elements later required for mass murder of Jews and Gypsies in Nazi death camps. 

In the months following the invasion of the Soviet Union, Jews, and political leaders, Communists, and Gypsies were killed in mass executions. During the war many new camps were built to accommodate the need for more space. Between 1942 and 1944 the Germans moved to eliminate the ghettos in occupied Poland and elsewhere deporting ghetto residents to death camps to be millions of Jews murdered through the death camps and poor living conditions that they faced