Saturday, October 19, 2019

The effects of concentration camps during the Holocaust on the people Essay

The effects of concentration camps during the Holocaust on the people who lived in them - Essay Example Age, gender and other supporting factors determined where you were selected to go. Millions of Jews were enslaved, exploited for scientific experiments, murdered and subjected to a number of atrocities. This â€Å"widespread destruction of the Jews† has been recorded in history as the Holocaust. However, while the Jews were subjected to the greater number of atrocities, other nationalities and ethnic groups received comparable treatment by virtue of the Nazi’s concentration camps. The concentration (labour) camps in particular were established in German conquered and occupied areas and thus included the Poles, French, Czechs, Dutch, Yugoslavians, Belgians and any other nationalities in the conquered and occupied countries. The majority of prisoners however were Jews and Gypsies who were primarily destined for the extermination camps. Once the Second World War ended, many healthcare professionals came into contact with the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. Accou nts of the effects of the concentration camps during the holocaust and the people who lived in them began to emerge. German camps were divided into three types: extermination, concentration and labour camps. Extermination camps were designed to murder masses of human beings primarily through gas chambers. Auschwitz-Birkenau served a dual purpose in that healthy Jews were put to work and only temporarily spared the gas chambers. All others were murdered. ... For example the death rate at Dachau camp in Germany was 4% in 1938. But by 1942 the death rate increased to 36%.7 The work was characterized by â€Å"victimization and terror†.8 Victims were forced to work to the point of â€Å"exhaustion† and were not provided with basic working equipment.9 Through the constant inflow of prisoners, the camps became unbearably overcrowded so that living conditions were subhuman.10 A report by one survivor reflects the magnitude of the victims’ struggle to survive in Nazi concentration camps. Elie Cohan, a Jewish physician from the Netherlands, whose parents had been killed in Auschwitz, was sent along with his wife and children to camps in Amersfort and then to Westerbork. Cohen’s life was spared because he was a doctor and the Nazis needed his services. When his wife offended a German Jew, Cohen and his family were immediately transported to Auschwitz where his family was put to death in the gas chambers immediately afte r arrival. Cohen however was not accorded time to grieve and had to work immediately with little food and water. When he was liberated he weighed less than 80 pounds and was described as â€Å"someone on the threshold of death†.11 The effects of living in a concentration camp regardless of whether it was a death camp or a labour camp appear to be entirely the same for all inhabitants.12 Inmates were shaved, dressed in standard inmate attire and forced to wear a tattoo for identification. This forced the people living in the concentration camps to lose all identity and essentially dehumanized them. Even when the Second World War came to an end and the concentration camps were forced to close because of the approaching allied forces, the taste of freedom was also bitter and just as horrifying as incarceration.13The

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