Purpose of Concentration Camps

Concentration camps served two purposes: to demoralize and dehumanize.

Demoralization was accomplished by the extremely regimental daily routine of the camp. Deviating from this routine often resulted in death.

"You get up at 3 am....For the slightest irregularity in bed-making the punishment was 25 lashes after which it was impossible to lie or sit for a whole month."

This led to large scale demoralization of all or most of the inhabitants of concentration camps because they faced only two choices of what to do with their life: work or die.

“There is only one way out of here: through the chimney.” -Popular welcoming statement by demoralized Jews to recent Jewish arrivals in concentration camps

•Dehumanization was accomplished by surrounding inmates with death, disease,and unhygienic conditions. These factors along with the constant threat of starvation made life far from humane.

"At 12 noon there was a break for a meal...half a litre of soup, or some watery liquid, without fats, tasteless... No spoons were allowed....One had to drink the soup out of the bowl and lick it like a dog...I must emphasize that if we were lucky we got a noon meal."



SS soldier taking aim on a Jewish mother and child. Photo provided by http://ticokid.blogs.com/life_in_central_america/facism/index.html