Liberating the Concentration camps

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Liberating the Concentration cams

Liberating the Concentration campsBy: Sammy Noueilaty

Discovery of concentration camPS.As the allies moved across Europe, they encountered thousands of concentration camps. Soviet forces were the first to approach a major Nazi camp, reaching Majdanek near Lublin, Poland, in July 1944. Surprised by the rapid Soviet advance, the Germans attempted to hide the evidence of mass murder by demolishing the camps1

Pre-war CampsDuring the Nazis control of Germany, they suppressed all potential opposition. The general public was intimidated through psychological terror. The Nazis not only used these camps to eliminate the undesirables, but to instill fear upon the citizens.TreatmentA great majority of the prisoners died in the concentration camps because of disease, malnutrition, overwork, and unsanitary conditions. Some prisoners were even killed because they were unfit for work. Many died because of the extreme weather and despicable most camps, prisoners were forced to wear identifying overalls with colored badges according to their categorization: red triangles were for captured Communists and other political prisoners, green triangles for common criminals, pink for homosexual men, purple for Jehovah's Witnesses, black for Gypsies ,and yellow for Jews. Types of campsLabor Camps: were those that were maintained for the purpose of exploiting slave labor.Extermination camps: where the mass murder of Jews and others took place.Many of the concentration camps were complexes of several camps and some had dual functions. At the Auschwitz complex, for example, most of the genocide took place in a subcamp called Birkenau. There was also a labor camp named Monowitz that was was part of the complex where an artificial rubber plant was built. 2LiberationThe Soviets liberated many camps, the most significant being Auschwitz, the largest killing center and concentration camp, in January 1945. 1US forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany, on April 11, 1945, a few days after the Nazis began evacuating the camp. On the day of liberation, an underground prisoner resistance organization seized control of Buchenwald to prevent atrocities by the retreating camp guards.2 American forces liberated more than 20,000 prisoners at Buchenwald.3Soldiers reactionsEach discovery deeply penetrated the hearts and the minds of the soldiers. Grown men and veterans of battle broke down and wept at the horrors seen in the camps. The pain and suffering felt by the inmates was universal: it superseded any language or ethnic barrier.I Saw The Walking Dead Leon Bass 19 year old African American seargent. never talked about it all. Pam Sporn

Soldiers reactions continued"My first reaction to Maidanek was a feeling of surprise. I had imagined something horrible and sinister beyond words. It was nothing like that. It looked singularly harmless from outside. 'Is that it?' was my first reaction when we stopped at what looked like a large workers' settlement. Behind us was the many towered skyline of Lublin. There was much dust on the road, and the grass as dull, greenish-grey color. The camp was separated from the road by a couple of barbed-wire fences, but these did not look particularly sinister, and might have been put up outside any military or semi-military establishment. The place was large; like a whole town of barracks painted a pleasant soft green. There were many people around - soldiers and civilians. A Polish sentry opened the barbed-wire gate to let cars enter the central avenue Alexander Werth soviet sergeant.German cover-up In order to hide the killing operation as much as possible from the public, Hitler ordered that the killings not be spoken of directly in German documentation or in public statements. Instead, the Germans used codenames and neutral-sounding terms for the killing process. for example, action (Aktion) referred to a violent operation against Jewish (or other) civilians by German security forces; resettlement to the East (Umsiedlung nach dem Osten) referred to the forced deportation of Jewish civilians to killing centers in German-occupied Poland; and special treatment (Sonderbehandlung) meant killing. 10Works Cited"Holocaust History." Liberation of Nazi Camps. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013."THHP Question: Camp Types." THHP Question: Camp Types. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013.BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013."Holocaust History." Combating Holocaust Denial: Origins of Holocaust Denial. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013. .""I Saw The Walking Dead": A Black Sergeant Remembers Buchenwald." "I Saw The Walking Dead": A Black Sergeant Remembers Buchenwald. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013. . "Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944." Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.