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Germany – The Nazi Concentration Camps, 1933-45

1. Introduction

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About this Lecture

Lecture

This module provides a general introduction to the Nazi concentration camp system. Using the example of Auschwitz, the deadliest site of the Holocaust, we think about the different functions the Nazi concentration camps fulfilled and how these changed over time. In particular, we explore the different functions of Auschwitz as a detainment camp for political prisoners, a destination for the mass deportation and murder of Jews and as a hub for slave labour. Finally, we consider the larger web of concentration camps established in Germany and beyond during Nazi rule, exploring their individual differences as well as their changing character over time.

To find out more about the history of the Nazi concentration camp system, visit this free online resource hosted by Birkbeck, University of London.

Course

In this course, Professor Nik Wachsmann (Birkbeck, University of London) explores the history of the Nazi concentration camps. We begin with a general introduction to the Nazi concentration camp system in module one. The second module considers the origins of the camp system in more detail, focussing in particular on the emergence of the early camps after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. In the third module, we think about the role of the SS in running the camps and explore possible reasons that motivated the perpetrators’ actions, before moving on in the fourth module to the experience of the prisoners inside the camp. The fifth module considers the role such camps as Auschwitz played in the Holocaust. Module six concludes the course with a discussion of the relationship between the Nazi concentration camps and the contemporary public.

To find out more about the history of the Nazi concentration camp system, visit this free online resource hosted by Birkbeck, University of London.

Lecturer

Professor Wachsmann joined the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck in 2005. He previously worked as a research fellow at Downing College (University of Cambridge) and as a lecturer at the University of Sheffield.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Wachsmann, N. (2019, February 26). Germany – The Nazi Concentration Camps, 1933-45 - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-nazi-concentration-camps/introduction-ef72d591-c10b-4490-b8c2-75e448f0ec62

MLA style

Wachsmann, Nik. "Germany – The Nazi Concentration Camps, 1933-45 – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Feb 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-nazi-concentration-camps/introduction-ef72d591-c10b-4490-b8c2-75e448f0ec62

Image Credits

"Auschwitz gate" by Bundesarchiv, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
"Transport of Soviet POWs" by Bundesarchiv, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
"Forced labourers at Auschwitz" by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Instytut Pamieci Narodowej
"Map of concentration camps and satellites" by The Nazi Concentration Camps © Benjamin Perry Blackshear
"Concentration camps map" by Sémhur, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0