Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Holocaust Research Reveals More Nazi Camps; 42,500 Sites Dotted Europe During WW II

War Stories & War Crimes


Not Your Typical Summer Camp: "A group of Jewish women at the entrance to the Brody ghetto in Eastern Galicia, 1942. The sign is written in German, Ukrainian and Polish," the New York Times writes.
Photo Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum /Collection of Eugenia Hochberg Lanceter
Source: NYT

An article, by Eric Lichtblau, in the New York Times says that researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have compiled, by searches through archives, documents and other means, a more detailed list of the number of ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories.

The new numbers greatly exceed previous historical estimates; the Holocaust researchers have come up with a number: 42,500 sites dotting Europe, each part of the grand program to execute Hitler's reign of terror during the Second World War (1939 to 1945). A great part of that program, its energy, was directed at extracting the labour of and killing Jews.

Lichtblau writes in "The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking" (March 1, 2013):
The documented camps include not only “killing centers” but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named “care” centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.
Auschwitz and a handful of other concentration camps have come to symbolize the Nazi killing machine in the public consciousness. Likewise, the Nazi system for imprisoning Jewish families in hometown ghettos has become associated with a single site — the Warsaw Ghetto, famous for the 1943 uprising. But these sites, infamous though they are, represent only a minuscule fraction of the entire German network, the new research makes painfully clear.
 The maps the researchers have created to identify the camps and ghettos turn wide sections of wartime Europe into black clusters of death, torture and slavery — centered in Germany and Poland, but reaching in all directions.
The lead editors on the project, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites that they have identified as part of a multivolume encyclopedia. (The Holocaust museum has published the first two, with five more planned by 2025.)
The existence of many individual camps and ghettos was previously known only on a fragmented, region-by-region basis. But the researchers, using data from some 400 contributors, have been documenting the entire scale for the first time, studying where they were located, how they were run, and what their purpose was.
Obedience to authority mixed with Nazi corporatism and tribal nationalism made it all the more easier for ordinary Germans (and their many collaborators) to carry out such orders, with little thought or conscience, which under different conditions they might have had some hesitation. But war-time conditions are hardly ever normal, and the setting up of more than 40,000 centres of confinement, labour, sex trade and killing was a seperate program of the Nazi regime.

The general purpose of such an infrastructure was to remove all traces of humanity from whomever entered its gates,  extract all of the labour skills of its prisoners, including turning women into prostitutes, and then select and kill individuals after that purpose was served. It was done with thorougness and scientific precision, as if performing a normal routine and job. Such greatly explains why individuals were moved around from site to site, the camp adminsitrators factoring in such considerations as age, health, skills, professions and other abilities—all to serve the immediate needs of the State in its irrational and ignoble purposes.

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