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One of the first concentration camps was in Dachau, in southern Germany. From 1933 until 1938, most of the people held in concentration camps were political prisoners and people the Nazis labeled as "asocial." These included the disabled, the homeless, and the mentally ill.
- The question of the origins of the Holocaust has been studied by scholars using several differing approaches.
These interpretations are outlined by Donald Niewyk in The Holocaust as the long history of European anti-Semitism, the charismatic personality of Adolf Hitler and the influence of modern “scientific” racism or eugenics.
As the tide of World War II turned against the Nazis, they began a systematic plan to eliminate or "liquidate" the ghettos they had established, by a combination of mass murder on the spot and transferring the remaining residents to extermination camps.
When the Nazis attempted to liquidate the Warsaw Ghetto on April 13, 1943, the remaining Jews fought back in what has become known as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
While concentration camps were meant to work and starve prisoners to death, extermination camps (also known as death camps) were built for the sole purpose of killing large groups of people quickly and efficiently.
The Nazis built six extermination camps, all in Poland: Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz, and Majdanek.
An estimated 1.1 million children died in the Holocaust. 15, 1935, was designed to exclude Jews from public life.
The Nuremberg Laws stripped German Jews of their citizenship and prohibited marriages and extramarital sex between Jews and Gentiles.
This led to the exponential increase in the number of Jews sent to concentration camps. Prisoners were forced to do hard physical labor and given little food.
Prisoners slept three or more to a crowded wooden bunk; bedding was unheard of.