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5. The Holocaust
- Image Credits
About this Lecture
In this module, we take a closer look at the role of the Nazi concentration camps in the Holocaust. We begin by thinking about the context of anti-Jewish terror under Nazi rule before the Second World War and explore the beginning of the Holocaust in 1941/42 as a turning point during which the Nazi dictatorship moved from lethal anti-Jewish terror to genocide, killing 6,000,000 Jews. We then look at the death camps that were established in Poland before moving on to the role of concentration camps such as Auschwitz in the events of the Holocaust. In particular, we consider the murder of deported Jews in the gas chamber or through back-breaking slave labour. Finally, we examine some of the ways in which prisoners were able to defy their oppressors despite the terrible conditions in which they were held, including the smuggling of documentary and photographic evidence of Nazi atrocities to the resistance outside the camps.
To find out more about the history of the Nazi concentration camp system, visit this free online resource hosted by Birkbeck, University of London.
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.
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
Wachsmann, N. (2019, February 26). Germany – The Nazi Concentration Camps, 1933-45 - The Holocaust [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-nazi-concentration-camps/the-holocaust
Wachsmann, N. "Germany – The Nazi Concentration Camps, 1933-45 – The Holocaust." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Feb 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-nazi-concentration-camps/the-holocaust
• "Map of extermination camps" by Dennis Nilsson, licensed under CC BY 3.0
• "IG Farben plant" by Bundesarchiv, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0