The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter XI
The Concentration Camp
The Beginning of Protective Custody
(Part 1 of 5)

[Page 949]

The Concentration Camp, used against the people of Germany and allied nationals, was one of the fundamental institutions of the Nazi regime. It was a pillar of the system of terror by which the Nazis consolidated their power over Germany. It was a primary weapon in the battle against the Jews, against the Christian church, against labor, against those who wanted peace, against opposition or non- conformity of any kind. It involved the systematic use of terror to achieve the cohesion within Germany which was necessary for the execution of the conspirators' plans for aggression. It was the final link in a chain of terror and repression which involved the SS and the Gestapo and which resulted in the apprehension of victims and their confinement without trial, often without charges, generally with no indication of the length of their detention.

The SS through its espionage system tracked down the victims; the criminal police and the Gestapo seized them and brought them to the concentration camps; and the concentration camps were administered by the SS. No attempt will be made to present a complete catalogue of individual brutalities. The emphasis will rather be upon the fundamental purposes for which these camps were used, the techniques of terror which were employed, the large number of their victims, and the death and anguish which they caused.

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