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Jared Stokes

Mr. Neuburger

Eng. Comp. 101 – 132

13 April 2011

Research Paper

Death Camps

Death camps also known as concentration camps were very popular during the 1930’s

and the late 1940’s in Nazi Germany. This took place in the midst of the Holocaust during

World War II. To this day the Holocaust and the death camps that were involved are a big part

of today’s history. If it was not for the prisoners that survived the Holocaust, we would not have

such descriptive information on what it was like for the prisoners in the death camps. Thanks to

Henry Mikols, and Peter Richard Billauer , information will be able to be shared from their

online survivor testimonies. Note that website sources and book sources are good pieces of

information, however hearing it from someone that lived through a detrimental crisis such as

being a prisoner in a concentration camp seems more accurate. Death camps should not be taken

lightly, the history of them and knowledge of the survivors will be in history for time to come.

According to Henry Mikols, the Polish were imprisoned in death camps as well as the

Jews ( Mikols Testimony.”2001 ). Henry claims that before he was sent to Auschwitz, he was

sent to a German farm to be a work slave for the German army. After a few months a German

Soldier came to evaluate him and the soldier came to realize that he was being treated very well

by the framer he worked for. The German Soldier was livid, he beat Henry until he was on the

ground, and then he was arrested.

Henry was then taken to the death camp known as Auschwitz ( Mikols Testimony.”2001).
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Mr. Mikols emphasizes the horror of the death camp Auschwitz. He mentions that the

prison cell he was in was not just very claustrophobic, and not being of small size but that the

capacity of the prisoners in one cell was to its max. Henry claims that there was one bucket per

cell to secrete their bodily functions in, and all of the prisoners would take turns cleaning it out

so the smell in the prison cell wouldn’t reek more than it already did (Mikols Testimony.”2001).

Henry reveals that he and some other prisoner were transferred to a false

rehabilitation. All of the prisoners were told that they were going to get

treatment so they could be healthy again. They were taken to a room full

of German scientist where their false rehabilitation would start; note that the prisoners did not know the rehabilitation was false until a couple of
weeks later. Mr. Mikols points out that they were given vitamin capsules,

and late dinners that contained all kinds of vitamins and nutrients. Now explaining the false

rehabilitation, after everyone started getting sick and having the same symptoms of a fever,

fatigue, and nausea. Later on they found out they have been infected with typhoid fever during

the interview you could hear the anger in Henry Mikols voice ( Mikols Testimony.”2001).

Henry was transferred to a camp called Buchenwald during 1940 shortly before World

War II. After all of the years of being in the death camps Henry suggests that he was barely

hanging on by a thread. Then one day he said that British Soldiers came to their rescue by air

planes. The soldiers came baring gifts such as cigarettes’, food, clothing, and the good news of

the war ending. The war was over by 1945 to 1946 and Henry Mikols said he only weighed only

a total of eighty pounds ( Mikols Testimony.”2001).

According to Marc Buggeln there were sub camps before there was the main

concentration death camp. Mark acknowledges that in most cases sub camps were far more
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horrible than the main camps ( Buggeln, ."). In the

Neuengamme sub camps the prisoners were needed for their

labor that way the Germans could get some use out of them, and then they could transfer the

prisoners to the main death camps to fight for their lives while they starve, be abused, tortured,

experimented on, and killed. Even before the prisoners made it to the main camps they were

already in ill health conditions at Neuevgamme. In this academic source it discloses information

such as the prisoners working in brutal conditions. The prisoners would not be fed for 5 days to

a week at a time and were still forced into slave labor (Buggeln). It’s already obvious that the

sub camps were at the least just as bad as the main death camps. Marc Notes that not very many

prisoners made it past the sub camps due to the excruciating conditions ( Buggeln,.").

Moving on to further research, Ouis Bulow points out that the very first concentration

camps ever was called KZ Dachau ( Bülow "Gates to Hell.). This source discusses the main

death camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblink.

One thing all of these camps have I common is that they killed their prisoners in similar ways

such as murdering the prisoners by gas chambers, cremation, execution, starvation and forced

labor ( Ouis Bülow "Gates to Hell.".). KZ Dachau was established on March 22nd, 1933 in Nazi

Germany. The Nazi’s established at least 20,000 camps to imprison as many prisoners as one

million. The prisoners were considered as the Nazi’s enemies’ of the state. After the night of

Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass) the Nazis performed mass arrests of adult male Jews

and incarcerated them in the main death camps and even Sachsenhausen. That gives a brief idea

of how many male Jews there were alone ( Ouis Bülow Privacy. ©2 "Gates to Hell.".).

In 1939 Germany invaded Poland and opened up forced labor camps were thousands of

prisoners died from exhaustion, starvation, and exposure. The spread of the Nazi camps was
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becoming very rapid at this time; they even had German Scientist perform experiments on the

prisoners ( Bülow "Gates to Hell."). In 1941 of June Germany invaded the Soviet Union and

the Nazis’ increased the number of prisoners of war. (POW Camps) New camps were built at

existing concentration camps sites such as Auschwitz, it occupied Poland. The camp Lublin

which was later on known as Majdanek was conducted in 1941, and thousands of Soviet

prisoners of war were gassed and shot there ( Bülow "Gates to Hell." .). According to Bulow

Ouis there are far more death camps than most people know about, especially when the Jews, the

Polish, Soviet Union, Jehovah’s witness’, Gypsies, and homosexuals are all being imprisoned in

concentrated facilities.

According to Howard Greenfeld concentration camps had three main purposes, they

served as prison camps were political enemies of the third hiech were held without any judicial

process what so ever. The second purpose was to imprison all biological beings that were

stereotyped as racially inferior. The third reason is

that prisoners were intended to be work slaves at the

concentration camps ( Greenfeld, , After the

Holocaust ). The Nazi Germans wanted to facilitate a

final solution which was the genocide. The Genocide

is the mass destruction of the Jews. The Nazis’
established quite a few extermination camps in Poland

because it was the country with the largest Jewish

population (Greenfeld, Howard, After the Holocaust,

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The extermination death camp Birkenau had four gas chamber facilities. In the midst of

the height of Birkenau’s deportations , the Nazis exterminated up to 6,000 Jews a day in the gas

chambers. Jews were often deported to transit camps such as Westerbork in the Netherlands or

Drancy in France where en routes were located to the

killing center in Poland. The transit camps were

usually the last stop before the extermination camps (

Greenfeld, After the Holocaust,“). The Germans and

their collaborations murdered over three million

people which is a small fraction of the whole amount
of people imprisoned in the concentration camps. This catastrophe killed millions of innocent

people and lasted for many years. Not very many people realize how serious the Holocaust was

and still is to the victims that survived until they research the event themselves.

According to Richard Billanuer survivor testimony him and some of his family members

were captured crossing back from Russia to Germany with some of his cousins ( Billauer

Testimony). Like the survivor testimony with Henry Mikols, Richard also had to share a pot

with is fellow prisoners and they took turns cleaning it out. Richard said in his prison cell it was

so crowded that when everyone was went to bed at night their shoulders were touching. Richard,

his brother, and his father all survived except for his mother (Ha Billauer Testimony).

According to the author of the book “A History of the Dora Camp”, Andre’ Sellier

discussed how Dora was located in Nordhasuen Germany, and in camp Dora they had a Revier.

A Revier was a hospital type place where they took wounded prisoners only under extreme

conditions. In the book it specifically says “only a fever of 39 degrees Celsius was considered as

truly ill.” (Sellier, Andre’ 2003). Basically a prisoner had to be on the brink of death before they
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would even consider hospitalization treatment for the prisoners’. In fact, very few prisoners

made it to the hospital in Dora because they were dead before they even made it there because

the outstand degree of the individual prisoners fever. Almost every prisoner had typhoid so

treatment was limited any way because of the fact that there were thousands of prisoners, and a

tight capacity that would not even fit a fourth of the detrimentally ill, so it was a lot easier to let

the prisoners die ( Sellier, Andre’ 2003). At least 350 people committed suicide by hanging

themselves. There were approximately 60,000 prisoners from twenty one nations in camp Dora.

Death came in many ways at camp Dora, but mostly from disease, starvation, exhaustion, and

execution ( Sellier, Andre’2003). acknowledges the invasions on Poland, and the imprisonment and

extermination of the Jews, the Polish, the Jehovah’s witness’, homo sexual, and any inferior

politicians. The website says the Nazis’ built more camps just to occupy space. The reasons

behind that were because they had plenty of Prisoners, and it was a defense mechanism so the

Germans could appear dominant, powerful, and superior to everyone around them. The Nazi’s

would use mobile killing squads called Einsatzgruppen.

Einsatzgruppen consisted of anywhere from 500 to 900

men, and each would follow the invading Germans into

the Soviet , Union (Crucial Think Quest. 2011. ).

By this time the Nazi Germans were ordered to stop
their shooting in the Fall of 1942, they killed

approximately 1,500,000 Jews. reveals that the Nazi’s

proved to their selves that death camps proved to faster, better, and a
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less personal method of killing the Jews’. It would spare to shooters, not the prisoners, and

emotional anguish (Crucial Think Quest 2011.)

Ben S. Austin from the Middle Tennessee State University acknowledges numerous

topics about the death camps themselves and the Holocaust on his academic website. According

to Ben, approximately six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust and over half of

them were exterminated by highly concentrated gas chamber and crematorium systems during

the years 1942 through 1945. (Austin 1996) The main death

camps Auschwitz , Teblinka, Birkenau, Dachau, Chelmno,

Sobibor, Belzec, and Maydanek were marked in history. (Austin

1996) Dachau was one of the largest camps in Germany,
crematoria was the camps concoction for the disposal of the dead

bodies. A gas Chamber was also constructed in Dachau, however to this day there is no legit

evidence that proves the Germans used it for extermination. Other execution devices were found

such as gallows in the Dachau camp where the prisoners were disposed of. (Austin 1996)

According to Austin there are two very important precedents concerning the death camps

that deserve recognition, The Nazi Enthanaisa project and the Aschaffenburg concentration

camp. The Enthanaisa project is also known as the T-4 project. The T-4 project was conducted of

for the medical killing of the mental and physical defectives of the death camps. This program

lead the way for the Holocaust in several vital ways, first, it had the effect of legitimizing

government-sponsored killing. Recognizing the Nazi emphasis on racial purity, eugenics and

national health, euthanasia was presented as an important program for eliminating those carried

defective genetic materials which might endanger the quality of the "Aryan" stock. (Austin 1996)
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In conclusion this papers information came from the following resources

throughout the research paper, and MLA format was used with parenthetical citation. This paper

discussed information on the death camps during the Holocaust, the imprisonment of the Jews,

the Polish, Jehovah’s witness’, homosexuals, and politicians. The invasion of Poland and the

Soviet Union was mentioned in this research paper; furthermore survivors’ stories from the

Holocaust are discussed and are primary sources. All of the above took place in the midst of the

time frame of World War II.

Work Cited Page

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Austin, Ben S. "The Camps." Middle Tennessee State University. Ben S. Austin, 21 Feb. 1996.

Web. 18 Apr. 2011. <>.

Buggeln, Marc. "Building to Death: Prisoner Forced Labour in the German War Economy -- The

Neuengamme Subcamps, 1942-1945." Building to Death: Prisoner Forced Labour in the

German War Economy -- The Neuengamme Subcamps, 1942-1945. 39.14 (2009): 606-32.

Academic Search Elite. Web. 28 Mar. 2011

Bülow, Ouis. Privacy., Ouis Bülow Privacy. ©2008-10. "Gates to Hell." Gates To Hell - The

Nazi Death Camps. 2008-2010. Web. 28 Mar. 2011.

Greenburg, Jill. “Political Prisoner/Holocaust Survivor Henry Mikols Testimony.” You Tube.

You Tube. 22 August 2001. Web. 21 March 2011

Greenfeld, Howard, After the Holocaust, “Green Willow Books.” Copyright 2009

Handwerker, Peter. “Holocaust Survivor Richard Billauer Testimony.” You Tube. You Tube.

1 March 1995. Web. 21 March 2011

Crucial Think Quest. "See a Camp." Web. 28 Mar. 2011