Dachau was the first concentration camp established in Nazi Germany - the camp was opened on March 22, 1933. The first inmates were primarily political prisoners, Social Democrats, Communists, trade unionists, habitual criminals, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses.

KZ Dachau served as a prototype and model for the other Nazi concentration camps that followed. Its basic organization, camp layout as well as the plan for the buildings were developed by Theodor Eicke and were applied to all later camps. In total, over 200,000 prisoners from more than 30 countries were housed in KZ Dachau, more than 25,000 prisoners are believed to have died in the camp and almost another 10,000 in its subcamps.
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In the late 1930's the Nazis killed thousands of handicapped Germans by lethal injection and poisonous gas. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, mobile killing units following in the wake of the German Army began shooting massive numbers of Jews and Gypsies in open fields and ravines on the outskirts of conquered cities and towns.

Eventually the Nazis created a more secluded and organized method of killing. Extermination centers were established in occupied Poland with special apparatus especially designed for mass murder. Giant death machines.

Six such death camps existed: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka. Large-scale murder by gas and body disposal through cremation were conducted systematically by the Nazis and Adolf Hitler's SS men ..

Victims were deported to these centers from Western Europe and from the ghettos in Eastern Europe which the Nazis had established. In addition, millions died in the ghettos and concentration camps as a result of forced labor, starvation, exposure, brutality, disease, and execution.


In 1933 approximately nine million Jews lived in the countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed by the SS Men. The Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews.


The number of children killed during the Holocaust is not fathomable and full statistics for the tragic fate of children who died will never be known. Estimates range as high as 1.5 million murdered children. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of institutionalized children.

 

 

 

 

   

Louis Bülow - ©2008-10
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