concentration camp

GC: n

S: UN – (last access: 18 December 2014); HLSUK – (last access: 18 December 2014).

N: 1. concentration camp (n): 1901, “compound for noncombatants in a war zone”; a term for a controversial idea in the second Boer War (1899-1902), and the term emerged with a bad odor. It also was used 1902 in reference to then-current U.S. policies in the Philippines, and retroactively in reference to Spanish policies in Cuba during the insurrection there of 1896-98. The phrase was used in U.S. during the Spanish-American war, but in reference to designated rendezvous points for U.S. troops headed overseas. In reference to prisons for dissidents and minorities in Nazi Germany from 1934, in Soviet Russia from 1935.
concentration (n): 1630s, “action of bringing to a center,” noun of action from verb concentrate (v.). Meaning “a mass so collected” is from 1670s; “continuous focus of mental activity” is from 1846.
camp (n): “place where an army lodges temporarily,” 1520s, from French camp, from Italian campo, from Latin campus “open field, level space” (also source of French champ) , especially “open space for military exercise.”
2. The term concentration camp refers to a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions and without regard to legal norms of arrest and imprisonment that are acceptable in a constitutional democracy.
3. This term has appeared throughout all our history and we have plenty of real examples in order to explain it. They were an essential part of Nazi systematic oppression. Immediately upon their assumption of power on January 30, 1933, the Nazis established concentration camps for the imprisonment of all “enemies” of their regime: actual and potential political opponents (e.g. communists, socialists, monarchists). The SS Central Office for Administration and Economy defined the new goal for these camps: labor exploitation of concentration camp prisoners. As Nazi Germany expanded by bloodless conquest between 1938 and 1939, the creation of new concentration camps increased. By the time the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, unleashing World War II, there were six concentration camps in the so-called Greater German Reich: Dachau (1933), Sachsenhausen (1936), Buchenwald (1937),Flossenbürg near Czech border (1938), Mauthausen, near Linz, Austria (1938), and Ravensbrück, the women’s camp, established in southeast of Berlin (1939). In the last period of the Nazi regime (1942-45), prisoners of concentration camps were forced to work in the armament industry, as more and more Germans were fighting in the war. Living conditions varied considerably from camp to camp and over time. The worst conditions took place from 1936-42, especially after the war broke out. Death, disease, starvation, crowded and unsanitary conditions, and torture were a daily part of concentration camps. Despite the Germans’ military reversals and the imminence of the Allied victory, the network of camps continued to operate until the final downfall of the Third Reich and the end of the war.
4. We want to point out an very well-known concentration camp that is the Auschwitz concentration camp established during the Second War World. This complex was the largest of its kind established by the Nazi regime. It included three main camps, all of which deployed incarcerated prisoners at forced labor. One of them also functioned for an extended period as a killing center. The SS authorities established three main camps near the Polish city of Oswiecim. Trains arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau frequently with transports of Jews from virtually every country in Europe occupied by or allied to Germany. On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz and liberated around 7,000 prisoners, most of whom were ill and dying. It is estimated that the SS and police deported at a minimum 1.3 million people to Auschwitz complex between 1940 and 1945. Of these, the camp authorities murdered 1.1 million.
5. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention in order to illustrate this term that there is a book called The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2007) by John Boyne, which became a best-selling book. Therefore, in 2008, it was adapted by Mark Herman in order to set up a film with the same name.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 18 December 2014). 2 & 3. USHMM – (last access: 18 December 2014); FCIT – (last access: 18 December 2014); YV – (last access: 18 December 2014); JVL – (last access: 18 December 2014). 4. USHMM – (last access: 18 December 2014). 5. BBC – (last access: 18 December 2014).


CR: refugee camp, Stockholm syndrome.